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Students discover how language skills translate into jobs in world of tourism

9 November 2018 (Springboard UK)

Perthshire S3 pupils take part in interactive workshops highlighting career opportunities

Students studying languages at four schools across Perth have been given a first-hand insight into jobs opportunities in the Scottish hospitality and tourism sector as part of the region's £500,000 young workforce strategy.

Pupils took part in the event organised by Developing the Young Workforce Perth and Kinross (DYW P&K) in partnership with Springboard UK, which supports people into careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism.  The event was kindly hosted by Historic Environment Scotland within their Stanley Mills visitor attraction.

Four organisations representing the sector supported the event - including, Historic Environment Scotland, Costa Coffee, Crieff Hydro and The Crannog Centre. Each organisation hosted interactive workshops which highlighted real career opportunities available for young people when they leave school.

Keynote speeches were delivered by Anne Kinnes CEO at the Blackwatch Museum and Dr Meryl James from SCILT (Scotland’s National Centre for Languages)

Dr Meryl James of SCILT added “Our message is a little language goes a long way. Tourism businesses, the world of sport, textiles, the food and drink industry all tell us that good communication skills are No. 1!  Learning a language can really help young people develop these skills and learning about other cultures helps prepare them to have a more flexible mindset. These skills are invaluable to us in the world of work, no matter what the young person may decide to do!”

Vicki Sutherland, Regional Manager at Springboard, said: "Events like this are a fantastic way to raise the profile of an exciting and varied industry with real job prospects, bringing together future potential recruits with industry employers. It has also highlighted the many local opportunities that exist in the sector."

Following the event, 53% of pupils said they had changed their opinion and would now be likely to consider a career in the tourism and hospitality sector.

In Perth and Kinross, the DYW programme is focusing on encouraging more of the region's 6,000 employers to offer work experience opportunities, promoting apprenticeships and helping ensure young people from all backgrounds can build the right skills to enter the workplace.

Steven Stewart, Chair of DYW PK, said: "We know Scotland’s tourism and hospitality sector is facing recruitment challenges and it’s our job to encourage industry and education to work together to help build a more skilled workforce for the future through our young people. This event is a fantastic example of the kind of partnership working that can make a real difference for our young people and our region."


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