Trade initiatives giving youth a chance

By Gillian McKenzie

YOUNG people have long played an important role in the workforce of Scotland’s licensed trade.

But while working in a bar or restaurant was once considered a ‘stop gap’ by many, it is increasingly being viewed as a long-term career option.
And rightly so.
Granted, there are many more hospitality-related college and university courses available now.
But credit must be given to the inidividual operators, drinks firms, training providers and trade groups that have invested time and money in developing courses and qualifications – and promoting all areas of the licensed trade and hospitality sector as long-term career options for young people.
Diageo, which has just been awarded Investors in Young People accreditation (see page 5) is one such example. Its Learning for Life Scotland programme, launched earlier this year, aims to equip young unemployed people with the skills needed to work in the hospitality industry.
Tennent’s Training Academy is also working hard to inspire young people to pursue a career in the trade (see pages 32&33); and it’s encouraging operators to give jobs to those who have completed courses via its recruitment days.
And, just last week, representatives from more than 100 Scottish businesses pledged job opportunities, apprenticeships and work placements for young job seekers at the Big Hospitality Conversation event.
Let‘s hope this focus on encouraging young people to pursue careers in the trade continues.