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A group of unemployed people from Fife have graduated from Diageo’s award-winning Learning for Life training programme and are now equipped with the required skills to embark on careers in the hospitality industry.

13 students from across Kirkcaldy and surrounding areas celebrated completing the six-week course at a special ceremony at Raith Rovers Football Club, Kirkcaldy on Thursday (4 April).

The Diageo Learning for Life: Bartending and Hospitality 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.

As part of the training programme, students had the chance to gain valuable hands-on experience through a series of visits with some of the area’s prominent hospitality businesses, including Betty Nicols Bar and Bistro, Kirkcaldy and Kimpton Charlotte Square Boutique Hotel, Edinburgh. The students also visited the Glenkinchie Distillery to learn more about Scotland’s booming whisky 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.

“This was the first time we’ve brought the Diageo Learning for Life: Bartending and Hospitality programme to Kirkcaldy, and we look forward to finding out what lies ahead for these passionate and hardworking graduates.”

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Since its launch in 2014, over 1,300 unemployed people have graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programme, with 83% of graduates going on to further training or employment and 78% securing long-term employment – making it one of Scotland’s most successful training schemes.

The course is delivered by The Springboard Charity, Diageo’s specialist training partner.

Elaine Muir, Programme Manager for Springboard, said:

“We’re very proud of our Kirkcaldy graduates. It has been great to see the group progress through the course, gaining skills and qualifications which help make them more attractive candidates to prospective employers.

“We have received fantastic support from local employers, and we really appreciate the time that is given up to encourage our students to consider a career in the hospitality sector.”

Course graduate Luna Armsby (22) from Kirkcaldy added:

“Before the Diageo Learning for Life course I felt like I lacked direction, and on completing it I have found a confidence and ambition that I never thought I had. I have gained qualifications, practical and personal skills and a passion for the hospitality industry, I would recommend this course to anyone, it has been life-changing for me.”

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