More than 200 scholarships awarded in biggest year yet
A TOTAL of 218 scholarships were awarded to the class of 2018 at this year’s Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland Emerging Talent Conference.
The scholarships, which offer individuals working within or studying towards a career in hospitality various training opportunities, were presented to recipients at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel last week.
Scholars will get the opportunity to learn and develop their skills within the hospitality industry while experiencing trips around the world and meeting some of the industry’s top names.
Keynote speakers and workshop hosts at this year’s event, which was attended by over 400 industry representatives, included Simon Thomas, head concierge at The Lanesborough in London; young entrepreneur Kieran Aitken from social enterprise firm We Are Orbit; and previous HIT scholar winner, Michael Lennon of Bliss Flowers in Dubai, who discussed various industry topics.
Speaking to SLTN at the event, which first began in 2005, HIT Scotland chief executive David Cochrane said this was the most competitive year yet – with the group having received over 700 applications for this year’s scholarships.
“It’s great, year-on-year it just builds, and days like today are a celebration of the industry, the people, the development – and I suppose the opportunities as well,” said Cochrane.
He added that while the calibre of applicants is “always amazing”, the variety is equally impressive.
“It’s literally from equestrian centres through to cellar management through to managing directors through to golf professionals – it’s the whole spectrum of the industry,” said Cochrane.
In light of 2018 being the Year of Young People, Cochrane said, “it’s always great to celebrate young people”, but added, “let’s not forget people of all ages and stages that bring life skills to the industry”.
“We are excited for these 218 scholars to embark on their scholarship opportunities over the next year and positively shape the future of the booming hospitality industry in Scotland,” he said.