TEN young people were given the chance to learn more about the hospitality industry through an employability scheme with two Clacks hotels.

The Customers Facing Sector Skills Academy, funded through the No One Left Behind funding from the Scottish Government, was commissioned by Clackmannanshire Council to take on a group of 10 youngsters and allow them to experience the hospitality sector first-hand.

The two hotels approached were the Royal Oak Hotel and Inglewood House Hotel and Spa, with Inglewood becoming the base of the programme.

Ewan Campbell, owner of Inglewood, and Greg McMullan, director of Royal Oak, were both delighted to be signed on for the programme.

Ewan said: “It’s great to see young people getting a chance to find out all about the hospitality industry first-hand.”

Greg added: “I believe that with the correct training, they will have every chance of success. After all, it’s a journey not a final destination yet.”

Over the course of 10 weeks, commencing in August 2023, the group worked through their SQA modules in hospitality.

They were also given taster sessions of working in the two hotels, gaining vital work experience.

At the end of their 10 weeks, the two hotels offered work placements for the pupils, with each youngster having to go through a formal interview process before starting on their six-week placement.

Two of the group were keen on knowing about digital opportunities, with them going on to work with the Co-Lab and the café and foodbank at The Gate in Alloa.

Liz Hoskin, of Positive Qualities, said: “All placement companies were very supportive and gave lots of training and feedback on their progress and we visited them weekly to check in with them and discuss progress.

“By the end of the programme, five were successful in securing jobs, one has started an online shop and one is continuing their voluntary experience until they secure a warehousing job.

“Two are continuing with our support and Skills Development Scotland to secure either a college place or a job.

“One person left the programme to relocate to another area and was supported by Skills Development Scotland and Positive Qualities to enable them to do this.”

The programme was a big hit with participants, with one adding: “I’ve now found something I love and can’t wait to go into my placement each day.”

The team will be starting the next programme this month and will be looking for more work placement partners from Clackmannanshire to support young people.