Scottish hospitality served scholarship boost
The 110 recipients of?a scholarship programme worth ?250,000 and designed?for people working or studying towards a job in Scotland?s hospitality industry were announced yesterday?at the annual Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland Emerging Talent Conference.
During 2011 and 2012 the chosen scholars will embark on world class learning experiences both?at home and abroad. International destinations include Dubai, Switzerland and the USA. Scholars are also placed with Michelin starred chefs and will go behind the scenes at world class events and businesses across the UK.
The aim of the scholarship programme is to broaden horizons, encourage personal development and bring back best practice and new ideas to Scotland. In return, scholars are expected to drive up standards and potentially become leaders in the industry to help Scotland compete in an international marketplace.
The emerging talent scholarship programme represents a ?250,000 investment by HIT Scotland, a self funded charitable organisation. ??It is estimated to be worth nearly ?1 million through staff training, staff retention and future income to the Scottish industry.
Open to anyone working in or studying any aspect of Scottish tourism, travel, leisure, and catering, over 400 people applied for a scheme last September. They have been selected following individual interviews and assessments. The successful candidates come from 60 different businesses, colleges and universities across Scotland.
Over 200,000 people in Scotland ? just under one in ten in employment – are working in hospitality and tourism.
David Cochrane, Chief Executive of the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland, said, ?The hospitality industry in Scotland is worth ?11.2 billion to the economy. While we acknowledge the uniqueness of Scotland?s landscape and heritage as financial assets we don?t pay enough attention is to the people who can realise the country?s potential.? We operate in a worldwide market place and as economy looks to recover it?s important to invest in future leaders to capitalise on growth when it comes. Without out great people to make the Scottish experience special we are in danger of falling behind other countries.?
Scholars were told of their success at the end of the emerging talent conference.? This year?s event was held at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange. Over the past seven years, HIT Scotland has awarded over 800 scholarships starting with just eight in the programme?s first year.
Now in its seventh year, the emerging talent conference brings together people from across the industry to celebrate best practice, encourage development and share ideas. This year over 400 people attended the event held at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange.?
Delegates heard from two keynote speakers Michael Levie, CEO of citizenM hotels, and Debbie Zmorenski, an Executive Coach and trainer from the USA with 34 years experience with Disney. Workshops included session on personal branding, social media and career management.
The conference was supported by the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, Cameron House Hotel, Sodexo, Ramada Jarvis, the Institute of Hospitality and Harviestoun Brewery.?
The scholarship scheme is funded through a number of charity events organised by HIT Scotland across Scotland. The next event is the prestigious industry dinner, held in Glasgow, in March.
Additional funds come from leading companies including, Caterer.com, Highland Spring, Swisscom, Wiseman Dairies, Enterprise Rent a Car and Brakes Fresh Ideas.
For more information on how to apply for scholarship in the future or opportunities through HIT Scotland visit www.hitscotland.org.