A two-week placement was recently offered to twelve young adults, aged 16-25, from disadvantaged backgrounds to give them the opportunity to experience a realistic working environment, to help improve their communication skills and confidence. The placement which took place at City of Glasgow College and Glasgow Caledonian University, is in partnership with Action for Children, Hi!, and BaxterStorey Scotland.

Learning the art of artisan baking, practicing their customer service skills and accomplishing their latte art, where all part of the hands-on training programme, and taught at Matthew Algie Coffee Academy. While during their training at the university’s ‘market street’ the students served up Yucatan chicken, Mexican meatballs, and black bean tacos

Stephanie Wade, CEO of Hi! commented: “It’s crucial for hospitality employees to adopt fair and inclusive practices when recruiting and supporting young, unemployed workers. These students have all previously struggled to attract the attention of local employers because of their barriers to work, lack of confidence and experience. Yet, with new skills and confidence, they’re eager to begin working their way up the career ladder.”

Wade says that Hi! is very eager to start producing more placements across Scotland.

“After the successful partnership with BaxterStorey, we are keen to ensure the programme becomes a regular opportunity across Scotland, continuing to support more individuals into starting their career in the hospitality industry”.

Mark McCulloch, operations director, BaxterStorey, has said that as the hospitality faces an uncertain future due to the failing Brexit negotiations, it is important we the sector begins to invest in those in their communities.

He said, “This was a great opportunity for BaxterStorey Scotland’s team to get involved with Action for Children and introduce some great young people to the hospitality industry. Given the challenges the Hospitality industry is facing, it is the responsibility for all caterers to support young talent enter the industry”.

The two weeks concluded with a graduation lunch, attended by friends and family of the trainees and fundraisers. Following the programme, five students joined BaxterStorey including twenty-five-year-old catering assistant Megan Gallaher. She told Hospitality & Catering News:

“I would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity in supporting my student experience. It’s been amazing, and I am so excited for what’s to come as I look forward to my career with BaxterStorey”.