UHI North Highland and local employers launch new course to inspire hospitality careers in the highlands

Starting this October, First Steps into Highland Hospitality, gives students the opportunity to link up with a local hospitality employer, gaining insight to the different departments and career opportunities the sector has to offer.

The course is designed to provide students with a mix of learning and hands-on experience, resulting in an SVQ 2 qualification in Hospitality Services, plus a portfolio of skills endorsed by employers in just 18 weeks. Students will also be guaranteed an interview with a hospitality employer upon successful completion of the course.

The course was developed with the support of local employers who worked alongside curriculum staff to identify the current needs of the industry.

Andrew Mackay, owner of The Caithness Collection and Venture North board member said, "It was with great excitement I heard about UHI North Highland’s plans for creating this hospitality course.  It is exactly what our fantastic industry requires. This course in Hospitality is a perfect blend of learning and on-the-job experience to entice and excite new candidates and help them see the amazing, exciting and enriching industry that I fell in love with so many years ago."

Several employers across Caithness and Sutherland have also shown support, offering work placements for students embarking on the course, including Skibo Castle, Mackay’s Hotel, The Seaview, Links House, Kincraig Castle Hotel, The Ulbster Arms, Glenmorangie House and the Highland Coast Hotels collection including the Royal Marine Hotel Brora, the Royal Golf Hotel Dornoch, Kylesku Hotel, Tongue Hotel and the Plockton Inn.

Roddy Watt, CEO of Highland Coast Hotels, and member of Venture North said “This is wonderful news - a short, sharp, targeted course aimed at school leavers, those returning to work or seeking a change in career direction. Intimately integrated with employers, this course will provide not only a tremendous entry point for those considering the Hospitality sector as a career choice, but a ready source of people to support the industry’s development. The short 18-week nature of the course should also make it far more accessible and appealing for many, rather than a longer course commitment.”

Principal and chief executive of UHI North Highland, Debbie Murray, showed her support for the course and said, “We are delighted to continue to develop and grow our hospitality provision in partnership with our employers across the North Highland area.  In offering a short intensive programme with dedicated industry experience we are ensuring that students gain the best possible start in what could be a long and satisfying career.

Applications are now open for First Steps into Highland Hospitality. More information can be found at UHI North Highland - First Steps into Highland Hospitality