From education to employment


Glasgow Learning for Life graduates celebrate their success


A group of unemployed people from Glasgow have graduated from Diageo’s award-winning ‘Learning for Life’ training programme, with more than a third of the group already securing employment in the industry.

25 students from across the city and surrounding areas completed one of two six-week courses, which ran between July and September, and will now embark on new careers in the hospitality industry, after gaining the required skills and qualifications.

The courses provide essential industry qualifications, core employability skills and specialist bartender training, which has opened the door to a wide range of exciting career opportunities.

Several of the graduates have already secured employment with some of Glasgow’s best hotels and restaurants including Blythswood Square Hotel, Grand Central Hotel, Boclair House Hotel, beGIN, The Three Craws, Kimberley Tavern and The Howlin’ Wolf, after completing valuable work placements with local hospitality businesses.

The group celebrated completing the Diageo Learning for Life programme during a special ceremony at The Savings Bank in Glasgow on 30 October.

The Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality and Bartending programme provides coaching, core employability skills and specialist bartender training, opening the door to a wide range of exciting career opportunities in the Scottish hospitality industry.

Nicola Reid, Diageo Learning for Life Programme Manager for Great Britain and Europe, congratulated the graduates: “The booming hospitality industry in Scotland offers many exciting career opportunities for these graduates – giving them a great chance to secure gainful employment.

“We look forward to finding out what lies ahead for these passionate and hardworking people, and wish them every success in the future.”

Almost 1,200 unemployed people have graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programme since its launch in 2014, with 83% of graduates going on to further training or employment and 78% securing long-term employment – making it one of the Scotland’s leading employability schemes.

The course is delivered by The Springboard Charity, Diageo’s specialist training partner. Commenting on the recent tranche of Glasgow graduates, Isabel Howden, Programme Manager for Springboard in Glasgow, said: “I’m really proud of all of our Glasgow graduates and have no doubt that they will be a great asset to any business. They have shown such enthusiasm and commitment to every aspect of the course, and worked hard to engage with the wider industry.

“We really appreciate the time invested by local businesses and employers to support our students and help us encourage more young people to consider a career in hospitality.”

During the training programme, students were supported by experienced hoteliers from Blythswood Square Hotel, Grand Central Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Holiday Inn and Radisson Blu to learn from the through a variety of industry visits, interview skills workshops and presentations.

Course graduate Martin McSwiggan (26) from Glasgow added: “Diageo Learning for Life BHC is a great course.  You meet great people and make so many new contacts.  I have built up my confidence, qualifications and experience in an area where I had none. 

“I was out of work prior the this but through the course I have gained a fantastic job at the Three Craws in Glasgow, where I also completed my work placement.   I would recommend this course to anyone looking for help and guidance into an exciting career in the hospitality industry.”

Businesses in Glasgow looking to staff their establishments or to get involved in the programme can contact: Inga McVicar, National Programmes Manager at The Springboard Charity  07718 425 299.

The Diageo Learning for Life: Hospitality and Bartending programme is a six-week course encompassing four weeks of classroom style coaching followed by two weeks of live training experience in the workplace. The course includes industry recognised qualifications, Diageo specific training modules, industry visits and workshops on employability and soft skills. Graduates also receive aftercare support for 12 months following completion of the course.

In 2014, Scotland became the first country in Europe to deliver the Learning for Life programme, which has inspired and transformed the lives of young, unemployed people throughout the UK by providing access to training, skills and qualifications.

Almost 1,200 people have now graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programme in the UK, with 83% of graduates going on to further training or employment and 78% securing long-term employment – proof that the programme opens the door to a wide range of career opportunities in the hospitality industry.

The Diageo Learning for Life programmes in the UK is delivered by specialist training partners The Springboard Charity and Ayrshire College.

Learning for Life is a founding partner of the Movement to Work youth unemployment programme.

About Diageo: A global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.

About The Springboard Charity: Now in its 26th year, it helps young, the unemployed and those facing barriers into sustainable employment within the hospitality, leisure and tourism industry. 

Springboard provides a range of opportunities for sustainable employment, or vibrant careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism through;

  • Free specialist careers information
  • Taster work experience opportunities
  • Development programmes to help maximise the chances of obtaining sustainable employment
  • Pre-employment and mentoring programmes
  • Educational teaching resources, information, support and student activities to teachers in schools and colleges

Springboard equips people with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential.

Springboard also works closely with the industry to help attract more talent and address skills shortages. In doing so, it has the support of over 180 different industry establishments and suppliers.

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