Diageo inspires bartenders of the future with Learning for Life

Learning for Life

Diageo and The Springboard Charity’s Learning for Life programme, designed to train the next generation of bartenders, has launched a new course in London.

The scheme aims to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds find their way into the jobs in the hospitality industry, providing them with the skills they need to succeed.

Kicking off this week, coinciding with the start of London Cocktail Week, up to 14 Londoners will embark upon a six-week course to prepare them for work in the hospitality industry.

This year’s cohort with take part in a cocktail masterclass delivered by leading mixologists at London Cocktail Week’s Cocktail Village.

Selected graduates from previous Learning for Life programmes will also be invited to work behind the bar at a host of pop-ups hosted within the London Cocktail Week village in Shoreditch.

The programme combines a mix of technical and vocational qualifications, industry visits and soft skills development, followed by a two-week work placement in a London pub or bar, providing students with hands on experience, and 12 months of ongoing support.

Upon completion of the course, graduates are awarded with a portfolio of their achievements, including accredited qualification certificates.

Charles Ireland, general manager for GB, Ireland and France at Diageo, said: “Bars in London are the envy of the world and at Diageo, we’re incredibly proud to be supporting Learning for Life for another year as it looks to foster a new generation of bartenders.

“While London’s hospitality industry is in good shape, there are still too many young and vulnerable individuals who are not in education or training, struggling to find and secure a rewarding job.

“Learning for Life equips individuals with the skills and confidence to thrive in an industry we are so passionate about and I am excited to see what this year’s students will achieve.”

Spencer Devine, employability programme manager at The Springboard Charity, added: “The Diageo Learning for Life: Bartending & Hospitality Course is an excellent chance for unemployed people to improve their prospects, and to start them on a journey in to a career in hospitality.

“Seeing your trainees grow and develop in the right environment, with the right balance of theoretical and practical training, and then getting out into the industry just makes me feel very proud of what we do.

“We’re fortunate to receive a lot of support from London bars and cocktail clubs, who kindly offer work placements and industry visits, which are of real benefit to our participants in gaining work experience in world-class establishments.

“It does not end there either, as we invite graduates to return for Diageo VIP Events which is simply amazing, and collectively these experiences can really help to sustain the growth of a vibrant, exciting work force.”

To date, the Learning for Life programme has had a significant impact and has helped many individuals realise how enjoyable and rewarding hospitality is as a career path.

James Bray, September 2017 graduate currently working as a bar-back at The Ivy, London, said: “Being on the Diageo Learning for Life course was much a journey of self-discovery as it was a journey of discovery with the hospitality industry!”

So far, 945 people have graduated from the programme delivered by The Springboard Charity, which is run in conjunction with several business partners, with the following bars previously providing placements: London Cocktail Club, Yummy Pubs, CH&Co Prestige, K West, Lancaster London, Alchemy Bar 7HQ & Fullers.

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