Bar staff upskill in lockdown

More than 160 hospitality staff from across Scotland complete free training with Diageo’s Learning for Life Hospitality Elevator programme

MORE than 160 hospitality staff from across Scotland have honed their skills during lockdown through Diageo’s Hospitality Elevator training programme.

While venues remain closed by COVID-19 restrictions, bar staff the length and breadth of the country have undertaken the virtual course, which is delivered by Diageo in partnership with charity Springboard.

Free to those already working in – or on furlough from – hospitality roles, the Hospitality Elevator programme aims to provide specialist support to those working in the sector, enhancing existing practical skills and knowledge to gain industry-recognised qualifications.

Since November, over 160 from across the Scottish hospitality industry have undertaken the training, including Chris Reynolds of Aberdeen’s Reynolds Corporate & Cocktail; and four members of the team at House of Gods hotel and cocktail bar in Edinburgh.

Ian Stokes, general manager at House of Gods, said the Hospitality Elevator programme is an “invaluable resource for our business”.

“It’s been an ideal tool to keep the team’s skills sharp during these testing times,” he said.

“Not only does the programme give our employees those practical skills to carry out their day to day tasks, but it drives their confidence and allows them to grow as professionals.”

Chris Reynolds used the Hospitality Elevator programme to hone his skills and gain qualifications for his Reynolds Corporate & Cocktail business.

“Having been made redundant during the pandemic, I started self-employment and the Diageo Learning platform has become an important asset of my continued learning of hospitality and being able to keep up vital skills that may have become faded whilst not serving customers face to face, day to day,” he said.

Nicola Reid, Learning for Life manager at Diageo, said: “Times are incredibly tough for the hospitality industry at the moment, which is why it’s important that we continue to commit significant investment to helping those in the industry to train, improve their skills and stay motivated.

“We don’t yet know when the hospitality sector will open back up, but we do know that when it does, it will need skilled, confident and engaged people to help secure its long-term future as a vital cornerstone of our society.”