North-east hotels offer hospitality apprenticeship opportunities

Hotels in Garioch are among nine across the North-east to be part of a hospitality apprenticeship scheme offering early career employment for young people.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 11th March 2022, 8:40 am

Meldrum House in Oldmeldrum and Thainstone House by Inverurie – as well as Trump International Scotland at Balmedie, Banchory Lodge, The Fife Arms in Braemar, Douneside House by Tarland, and Aberdeen’s Chester Hotel, Jurys Inn Aberdeen Airport and Maryculter House – all have apprenticeship positions available.

The hospitality apprenticeship scheme, set up in the North-east in partnership between nine local hotels, Opportunity North East and Skills Development Scotland, has places available for 16 to 24 year-olds.

During Scottish Apprenticeship Week (March 7-11), Hospitality Apprenticeship North East is highlighting the benefits of early career employment for school leavers and young adults when they enter vocational training.

Some of the current apprentices on the Hospitality Apprenticeship North East scheme. Applications are now open for the Spring 2022 intake.

Stephen Gow, Hospitality Apprenticeship North East chairman, said: “Scottish graduates leave university with an average debt of £13,890, and a degree course is not for every school leaver. Our apprenticeship scheme has been designed to give our students sector-specific hands-on experience in their hotel, along with core course content.

“The 18-month initial apprenticeship leads to a fully accredited SVQ level 5 with the option to continue for a further six months for additional recognition. During their apprenticeship our students are paid at the minimum wage for their age and not at the lower apprenticeship rate.

“There’s a well-documented skills shortage in hospitality currently following Covid and Brexit and our nine local hotel partners are giving their robust support to apprenticeships as a route to accelerate the pipeline of skilled people within their businesses.”

Apprentices on the current cohort encourage others to join the scheme:

Stephen Gow, chair of Hospitality Apprenticeship North East, says the hospitality industry requires a diverse range of skills.

Anthony McKillop was a 16-year-old school leaver who took up an apprenticeship.

He said: “When I first started, I was quiet and shy, but moving around the departments and working with so many different guests, I have come out of my shell and am really enjoying myself. I never thought I could be this confident.

“I’m currently working on the accounts side, front of house, housekeeping and the health club. I love the variety, and it has made me more adaptable to different roles and departments.”

Stephen added: “Some of our apprentices have told us that when they began, all they thought they would be learning to do was to carry plates, but the hospitality industry requires incredibly diverse skills sets.

Anthony McKillop is thoroughly enjoying learning new skills after leaving school at the age of 16 to take up his apprenticeship.

“The structure of the apprenticeship with rotations through four departments allows for the development of skills our apprentices will need to progress in a career which spans the globe.”

More about Hospitality Apprenticeship North East can be found at Applications for the Spring 2022 intake can be made via the website.