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Diageo to help Scottish young people into employment

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Global drinks manufacturer Diageo is to offer young people in Scotland free training aimed to lift them out of unemployment.

Jane Richardson, Diageo's corporate relations director for the Scotland division, told HR magazine the company’s Learning for Life programme would give young people the break they needed to find a job.
 
This week Diageo announced the £5 million programme in Scotland – the first region in Europe to offer the scheme after it successfully trained thousands of people in Latin America and the Caribbean.
 
The first cohort of 200 trainees will be offered courses in bartending and hospitality, followed by further courses in retail, manufacturing and entrepreneurship.
 
These are designed to gear-up applicants for jobs likely to be created in Scotland by the 2014 Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games.
 
Richardson said the courses would teach life-skills as well as industry-specific training, such as customer service, product knowledge and information technology.
 
“This programme is not just about giving skills but also confidence,” Richardson said.
 
“People will need to have the desire to work in that sector even though they may not have the qualifications or have been out of work.
 
“In some cases people have been out of work for over a year and just needed a break.”
 
Diageo is delivering the programme with charity partner Springboard UK, which will recruit applicants aged 16 and up though Jobcentre Plus.
 
Diageo will fund and deliver the six-week training, and provide mentors and work experience placements for each participant.
 
“When they finish their training we hold a recruitment day and invite potential employers who know they’ve been trained in a high quality way,” Richardson said.
 
Richardson added the course had been designed to ensure young people receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance did not lose the benefit by participating.
 
She also stressed that although only trainees aged from 18 could study bartending, Diageo had many opportunities for younger participants, such as in manufacturing.
 
Director of Diageo in Scotland and chairman of Gleneagles Hotel Peter Lederer said the 2014 Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games gave “a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and also to give a real boost to our hospitality industry”.

“With Learning for Life, Scotland, Diageo is determined to play its part in seizing that opportunity and looking beyond 2014, we want to build on that by using our business in the broadest sense to help create opportunities for young people in manufacturing as well as hospitality.

“We also want to use the programme to encourage the kind of entrepreneurship which has made Scotch whisky a global triumph.”