Diageo extends course to help young unemployed find bar careers

Diageo Learning for Life Students

Diageo is extending a scheme to help young unemployed people to get jobs in bartending and other areas of hospitality after the success of the first pilot in Glasgow.

It today launched the first London pilot of the Learning for Life Hospitality and Bartending Course, offering training and support for 14 people in Ealing and Brent – home to Diageo’s global headquarters in Park Royal.

The course has already transformed the lives of over 100,000 people in 35 countries and was first piloted in Britain in Glasgow at the start of 2014. More than 300 young adults have gone through 14 courses in Scotland, with 70% going on to immediate employment in the hospitality sector, including working at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

The six-week course prepares people for work in the hospitality industry with a mix of technical and vocational qualifications, industry visits and soft skills development, such as CV writing and confidence building.

This will be followed by a two-week work placement in a London pub or bar, organised by Perceptions Group, the industry-led group promoting pub and bar careers.

Students are then have a guaranteed interview with a local employer. The London pilot culminates in a graduation ceremony on April 23 for graduates and their family and friends.

Participants keep their benefits throughout the course, helping to widen participation and reduce drop-out rates.

Andrew Cowan, country director for Diageo GB said: “I am thrilled to be welcoming young adults from local boroughs to Diageo’s global HQ in Park Royal to embark on this life-changing course.

“Youth unemployment is a difficult issue for London, but London also has one of the most vibrant and fast-growing hospitality sectors in the world, with fantastic opportunities for young adults with the right skills.

“We want to give young adults control over their futures to seize these opportunities and at the same time change perceptions of working in the hospitality industry. This programme does just that.”

To deliver the course, Diageo has partnered with Springboard, a charity that provides programmes to help young, unemployed and disadvantaged people get into careers in hospitality, leisure and tourism. It follows the successful delivery of the Glasgow pilot programmes by Springboard last year.

Rachel Neuer, programmes manager for Springboard, said: “It’s vital for businesses to give young adults a chance to showcase their skills which is what this programme is all about.

“Springboard works with Diageo Learning for Life because it doesn’t only give these young adults an opportunity to start a vibrant career in hospitality but also provides mentoring and instils confidence in the candidates to succeed.”

Pictured: Ally Stewart and Stacy Allan, the first graduates of the Learning for Life Hospitality and Bartending Course in Glasgow. Photograph by Mike Wilkinson.

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