From education to employment

College provides mainland link for island hospitality learners

James Watt College has teamed up with Rothesay Academy, on the Isle of Bute, to help pupils develop skills in Hospitality without having to journey to the mainland.

The Skills for Work partnership also involves several hospitality establishments on the island, which will enable pupils to take part in work placements and gain a recognised SQA qualification.

Pupils will be able to learn a range of hospitality skills through the additional work placements with local businesses. These include working in front of house and kitchen skills, as well as working in events. The Isle of Bute’s economy is largely dependent on the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry, meaning these could make a significant contribution locally. The programme will be delivered by Malcolm Briggs, Rothesay Academy’s Home Economics teacher and former professional chef.

Elizabeth Campbell, Acting Head of Teaching and Learning at Rothesay Academy, said: "Our pupils benefit enormously from this initiative and gain a real sense of achievement. Not only do they perform very well in the course, but their high profile in the community builds confidence, a sense of responsibility and motivation."

Jen Marshall, Head of School Hospitality, Tourism and Sport at James Watt College, said: "The geographical location of the school and finding appropriate facilities on the island to teach hospitality skills was a challenge for us. However, we found that utilising the expertise and facilities of local hospitality businesses on the Isle of Bute, meant that students could learn practical skills in a real working environment and we could oversee their progress through regular visits and communication.

"There was a real sense of community spirit about this project and a feeling that together we could make a difference, not only to the pupils’ employability, but to the growth of the local economy. The result of this collaborative approach is a group of motivated and engaged young people who are learning a variety of new skills which will stand them in good stead for the future."

Related Articles