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High school transformed into hotel as pupils ‘Taste the Industry’

(L-R) Linwood High School Head Teacher Eileen Young, Director of the TTA Stephanie Wade, pupil Necole Wilson (14), Kained Holdings Group Development Chef Scott Leask, pupil Evan Thompson (17), Kyle Steel of pop-up restaurant Section 33, pupil Emile McEwan (14) and Tree of Knowledge Director Dougie Clark at the Taste the Industry event at Linwood High School

National and local businesses transform school into mock-hotel for the day to help boost Scotland’s hospitality industry and reduce youth unemployment. 

Today, 20th September, pupils from Linwood High School in Renfrewshire were given the chance to ‘Taste the Industry’ as classrooms were turned into mock-bars and restaurants for the day. The event, developed by the Tennent’s Training Academy (TTA) and Tree of Knowledge, introduces young people to the skills and roles available in the hospitality and tourism industry. Today was the first in a series of roadshows which will tour across Scottish schools throughout the rest of the year.

 (L-R) Linwood High School Head Teacher Eileen Young, Director of the TTA Stephanie Wade, pupil Necole Wilson (14), Kained Holdings Group Development Chef Scott Leask, pupil Evan Thompson (17), Kyle Steel of pop-up restaurant Section 33, pupil Emile McEwan (14) and Tree of Knowledge Director Dougie Clark at the Taste the Industry event at Linwood High School

(L-R) Linwood High School Head Teacher Eileen Young, Director of the TTA Stephanie Wade, pupil Necole Wilson (14), Kained Holdings Group Development Chef Scott Leask, pupil Evan Thompson (17), Kyle Steel of pop-up restaurant Section 33, pupil Emile McEwan (14) and Tree of Knowledge Director Dougie Clark at the Taste the Industry event at Linwood High School

100 pupils aged 14-17 took part in hands-on masterclasses run by businesses such as; underground pop-up restaurant Section 33, bar group Kained Holdings and catering giants Sodexo and trade suppliers Breahead Foods. Each masterclass gave the students an introduction to skills such as the art of service, bartending and event catering. The events aim to raise the awareness and attract new and young talent into Scotland’s hospitality industry, one of the key contributors to Scotland’s economy.

Evan Thompson, 17, pupil of Linwood High School said:

“Today has been brilliant, especially cooking the Mexican food with Section 33. It’s been great to learn more about the different areas of the industry such as catering at large events like Hampden, and learning it’s more than just about being a chef.” 

Eileen Young, Head Teacher of Linwood High School said:

“Today has been fantastic, it’s wonderful for the children to see all the different aspects of hospitality, rather than the perception they might have that it’s just being a waiter or a chef. It’s fantastic that all the different partners have come to the school, and we’ve been pleased with how the day has gone. Some great stars have emerged from the workshops, and I’m sure the children will go home having got a lot out of Taste the Industry.”

‘Taste the Industry’ was devised by the TTA and Tree of Knowledge following a report from the Scottish Government in 2015, advising that employers and education should work closer together to help reduce the levels of youth unemployment. The TTA and Tree of Knowledge aim to do just that by giving school children the knowledge and confidence to seek employment in the hospitality industry after leaving school.

Taste the Industry will visit Bell Baxter High School, Cupar (29th Sept.), Gracemount High School, Edinburgh (12thOctober) and Queen Victoria High School, Dunblane (1st November), before the final stop at Grove Academy, Dundee on the 25th and 26th January 2017, where the pilot event was held earlier this year.

Businesses involved in Taste the Industry have the chance to give something back to their local areas, talent spot for future employees and also meet their CSR objectives. Any businesses who would like to get involved in any of the Taste the Industry events should get in contact via info@tennentstrainingacademy.co.uk. 

Dougie Clark, Director of Tree of Knowledge said:

“This was another fantastic event at Linwood High School today, bringing the worlds of business and education together. It’s great to see the kids get so involved, and we hope today is another step to help in the developing the young workforce in Scotland.”

Stephanie Wade, Director of the Tennent’s Training Academy said:

We’re thrilled to have launched the first of our Taste the Industry roadshow events at Linwood High School today. The Tennent’s Training Academy are passionate about Scotland’s hospitality industry and furthering the careers of people within it. By working in partnership with employers across Scotland, we can look to grow the industry and support its future success. The industry constantly needs young talent, which is what we aim to achieve from the roadshows and at the same time help reduce the levels of youth unemployment across Scotland.”