From education to employment


A group of unemployed people from Ayrshire who participated in the award-winning Diageo Learning for Life training programme are celebrating after completing the six-week training course.

Twelve students are now equipped with the required skills to embark on careers in the hospitality industry. Their achievements were celebrated during a special ceremony held in Salt & Barrel, Ayrshire College, Kilmarnock Campus on Monday 22 July.

The Diageo Learning for Life: Bartending and Hospitality programme – provided by training partner Ayrshire College – provides students with coaching, core employability skills and specialist bartender training, plus seven industry recognised qualifications, which opens the door to a wide range of exciting hospitality career opportunities in Scotland.

The celebration marks the twenty-first Diageo Learning for Life programme to have taken place in association with Ayrshire College since November 2014. As part of their training, the students undertook two weeks of work experience with some of Ayrshire’s leading restaurants, hotels and bars including The Riverside Lodge, The Waterside, Seamill House, Cecchini’s, Arthur Street Kitchen, Lido, as well as Ayrshire College, to gain vital on-the-job experience and learn from industry experts.

As part of the training programme the group attended Diageo Bar Academy which included a cocktail masterclass and lunch at Arthur Street Kitchen, Ayr.

Pauline Scott, Ayrshire College Learner Engagement Officer for Diageo Learning for Life, said:

“Our students worked incredibly hard over the last six weeks, and we are proud to celebrate their achievements today. It’s been wonderful to watch their progress throughout the programme, and to see their skills and confidence grow.

“We’ve received a lot of support from local employers, which we really appreciate – their assistance is crucial to the success of the course, particularly the time that they have devoted to our students.”

Since its launch in 2014, over 1,300 unemployed people have graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programme, with 85% of graduates going on to further training or employment and 79% securing long-term employment – a success rate which makes it one of the Scotland’s leading employability schemes.

Gillian Dalziel, Early Career Specialist for Diageo, said:

“Congratulations to our Ayrshire College students on graduating from the Diageo Learning for Life: Bartending and Hospitality programme.

“The Scottish hospitality sector has so many career opportunities for those with the right skills. We can’t wait to see what lies ahead for our graduates, and wish them every success in their future endeavours.”

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