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Welcome boost for tourism industry with launch of new talent development programme

Press release

Scotland’s crisis hit tourism and hospitality industries have received a welcome boost with the launch of a new Scottish Government funded leadership, management and supervisory training programme which will support and develop talent to enable effective recovery of the sector.

With most of the sectors closed for the foreseeable future and thousands of employees on furloughed leave or experiencing redundancy, the new Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Programme, which will be delivered by the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), will motivate and develop top talent to lead the industry through recovery and rebuild from the significant impact that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on businesses within the sector.

The virtual programme was one of the key recommendations of the Tourism Task Force which provided independent recommendations for Scottish Ministers and the UK Government on the essential actions to support tourism and hospitality recovery in Scotland and will give the future leaders of Scotland’s tourism industry the skills, knowledge and networks to make an impact when the sector moves into recovery.

There will be 975 places available for this programme, with 13 groups of 25 people able to take part in each of the three categories - Supervisor, Manager, Leader and is open to anyone over the age of 16 working in the Scottish tourism and hospitality industry.

The programme is now open for applications; the closing date is 5th February with the programme scheduled to commence on 16th February.


David Cochrane MBE, Chief Executive of HIT Scotland said:

The tourism and hospitality industries continue to deal with the many challenges that Covid-19 has brought, but I am pleased that we can start 2021 with some positive news about personal development and the recovery of our industry. As an industry led charity which provides inspirational development for the Scottish hospitality industry, HIT Scotland is delighted to be involved in this programme which will be providing leadership, management and supervisory training to give the leaders of our industry the tools to support their teams and get them ready for the recovery. Tourism and hospitality are key to Scotland's economy, and I believe that this programme will ensure the industry can return to its best."

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the STA said:

“With almost all of Scotland’s tourism and hospitality industries closed and thousands of employees currently either without work or in the limbo of continued furlough, it is vital that we protect and grow the talent and skillset that has enabled these sectors to deliver the warm, authentic service and exceptional experiences which Scotland is known for the world over. This announcement represents a shining light and hugely positive move forward in the darkest period our industry has ever experienced, with businesses closing either in the short term or permanently.

It is absolutely critical that we focus on the development of our people and future skills agenda, in line with one of the key priorities of Scotland’s future tourism strategy, Outlook 2030 to lead us through recovery and deliver what will undoubtedly be a different offering in our post-Covid world. I am delighted that the programme has received such a generous funding allocation as a result of the Tourism Task Force recommendations which is testament to the strength of relationship between the sector, the Scottish Government and Scotland’s business community.”

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