Drinks giant Diageo has announced a £5 million programme to help young unemployed people in Scotland get on the career ladder.
Peter Lederer CBE
Learning for Life, described as a landmark training and development programme, launched today (18 February) and will offer young people valuable technical training and work based experiences to open more doors into employment.
Those taking part will also benefit advice on interview preparation, teamwork and communication to help boost their confidence.
The first phase of the programme will focus on bartending and hospitality, and then expand to include retail, manufacturing and entrepreneurship.
At least 200 newly trained graduates from the programme be given the chance to take up valuable work experience positions in the hospitality sector as a result of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
Diageo’s Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky is the official drinks partner of the Ryder Cup in Scotland.
The programme is being led by Peter Lederer CBE, who has worked in the Scottish hospitality industry for the last 30 years since taking over the running of the rGleneagles Hotel in January 1984.
He said: “The 2014 Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland in the same year gives us a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and also to give a real boost to our hospitality industry.
“With Learning for Life, Scotland – Diageo is determined to play its part in seizing that opportunity and looking beyond 2014, we want to build on that by using our business in the broadest sense to help create opportunities for young people in manufacturing as well as hospitality. We also want to use the programme to encourage the kind of entrepreneurship which has made Scotch whisky a global triumph.”
Stacey Allan, 20, and who has been unemployed since 2011, is one of the programme’s first participants.
She said: “The course has opened up a lot of opportunities to me. I’ve learned new skills, achieved new qualifications and received great encouragement from the Learning for Life team.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for anyone who is young and unemployed and the practical advice and hands – on experience that I now have from working in a bar will hopefully help me to build a career in the hospitality industry.”
Learning for Life is a major long- term global commitment by Diageo as part of its sustainability and responsibility strategy.
Scotland is the first European country to benefit from the scheme, which was first introduced in 2008 in Latin America and the Caribbean, with Diageo planning to eventually roll it out across all markets around the world.