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Hotel Day is a five-star event

It could open doors for young people looking to enter hospitality, leisure and tourism industries, says Henry Hepburn

It could open doors for young people looking to enter hospitality, leisure and tourism industries, says Henry Hepburn

The full hotel experience, from staff and customer perspectives, has been given to 300 secondary pupils as a way of helping them into work after leaving school.

All S3 pupils from Larbert High took part in Hotel Day, organised by the charity Springboard, whose aim is to help young, unemployed and disadvantaged people improve their chances of getting a job in hospitality, leisure or tourism.

The event was run at the school, near Falkirk, where pupils experienced how it felt to be both a guest and a hospitality professional in a luxury resort. They took part in workshops - on practical cookery, table setting, table service, spa services, IT and marketing - and heard directly from hotel staff about their own routes into the industry.

Springboard Scotland, which worked with Gleneagles and Apex hotels and City of Glasgow College, said it was the biggest event of this type it had organised.

"By showcasing the industry in this way, we are sending out a positive message to pupils about the diverse range of jobs available and underlining that with the right training and support, they can potentially have a career for life," says Vicki Sutherland, Springboard Scotland's operations manager.

This was the second time Larbert High had been involved in a Springboard event. Their potential for opening up new horizons, school staff felt, was summed up by Glasgow Hilton executive chef Joe Queen, with whom S4 pupils worked in 2010.

He said: "The best thing I ever did was study home economics as a Glasgow schoolboy, as it gave me the chance to travel all over the world working in this life-changing industry."

Depute head Ann Buchan described last month's event as "wonderful". She hopes that it can be repeated annually.

To participate in similar events, contact Vicki Sutherland on 07530 241249. www.springboard.uk.net.

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