Edinburgh students celebrate success at Johnnie Walker Princes Street graduation

Nine students have celebrated their graduation at the Johnnie Walker Princes Street Learning for Life Academy in a special ceremony hosted within the new visitor experience to toast their success.

The students have completed the six-week bartending and hospitality course which offers young people entry level training in bartending and hospitality, including work experience in local pubs, bars and restaurants.

All participants of this cohort have been offered the opportunity to interview for a role at Gleneagles Townhouse in Edinburgh, which is due to open in spring 2022 in a major move which will see the iconic brand expand beyond the Perthshire hills for the first time in its almost 100-year history.

Congratulating the students on their graduation, Gleneagles’ Director of People & Culture, Emma Simpson, said: “Hospitality is an industry like no other.  Dynamic, exciting and rewarding in equal measure, there are very few career paths that present the same breadth of roles and opportunities for continuous professional development and progression.

“It’s wonderful to see so many young people kickstarting their hospitality careers through this programme which is helping to nurture the next generation of talent here in Edinburgh.  We’re thrilled for the graduates and look forward to following and supporting them as they progress in their careers.”

Diageo Learning for Life is an award-winning bartender training programme, through which the company invests £1m-per-year in offering opportunities to young unemployed people in the UK to get into hospitality careers.

Since launch in Scotland in 2014, over 4,000 people have graduated from the programme with 88% going on to sustained employment and a further 6% going on to further education.

Ewan Ritchie, from Midlothian, is celebrating his graduation from the course which has recently completed in Edinburgh, only the second course to be held in the new Learning for Life Academy at Johnnie Walker Princes Street.

The new Johnnie Walker Princes Street visitor experience has a dedicated bar for the Learning for Life programme, giving students access to world class training. The academy provides ample space for presentations, tutorials and lessons as well as a large, open bar area where people can learn and hone the skills they learn.

Ewan, said: “The last six weeks have been absolutely fantastic and I am so grateful to have been able to work with such a wonderful team to kickstart my career in hospitality. My favourite part of the course was learning practical skills and gaining product knowledge from inspirational trainers and Ambassadors within the Industry]. I really look forward to starting my full time front of house role within the new Gleneagles Townhouse.”

Gillian Dalziel, Learning for Life Programme Manager in the UK said: “Congratulations to all the students that have graduated today. It has been great to see all their hard work come to fruition. At Diageo we aim to promote sustainable growth through inclusive programmes and Learning for Life plays an important role in giving young people the opportunity to kickstart a career in such a vibrant industry.”

The Learning for Life course in Edinburgh was delivered by Diageo partner The Springboard Charity, who works closely with Diageo to ensure the highest quality training and experience is delivered to Learning for Life students.

Chris Gamm, CEO of Springboard, said: “This has been another hugely successful course, delivered to a group of engaged and enthusiastic individuals in Scotland. We couldn’t be more proud of the graduates and are delighted that they have all been offered interviews at Gleneagles Townhouse. The Learning for Life Academy at Johnnie Walker Princes Street is already proving itself as a vital training centre, making a positive impact on improving the hospitality talent pipeline in Edinburgh.”

To find out more about Diageo Learning for Life and how to apply, please visit here.

Published: 5th April 2022

Last edited: 5th April 2022

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