STUDENTS from Aboyne Academy got a unique insight into career opportunities in the growing tourism and hospitality sector during a hands-on visit to Glen Tanar Estate. The day involved staff from Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch, Hospitality Training and Glen Tanar Estate.
Scotland’s tourism industry generates an annual visitor spend in excess of £4.5bn with the industry set to bring in up to £6.5bn by 2020, proving a range of career opportunities for young people in a growing and diverse industry.
On Wednesday 21 March Glen Tanar Estate hosted 30 S4, S5 and S6 Aboyne Academy pupils for a full day of practical, interactive workshops designed to help them experience the range of jobs open to them in catering, events, hospitality and wildlife tourism.
During the events and catering workshop, pupils took part in a ‘banqueting challenge’ in which they were tasked with setting a table for a wedding, and received a chef demonstration with executive head chef Brian Donaldson from Hilton Grand Vacations using locally sourced produce before receiving hands-on kitchen experience.
The wildlife tourism workshop saw pupils experience the customer service role of a ghillie and deer stalker, also with a demonstration of the equipment the wildlife team use, followed by a tour with a gamekeeper on the estate as he explained his role as a tour guide. Pupils also learned about the different natural species that can be seen in the area.
Hospitality Training also highlighted the importance of creating a good customer experience in an accommodation workshop highlighting how important customer-facing and back of house staff are to the success of a business.
The pupils were given an overview of the range of modern apprenticeships offered in the hospitality sector from Hospitality Training and the different entry routes and careers paths open to them. Following this successful workshop, Glen Tanar Estate and Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Craigendarroch hope to offer further opportunities to more schools in the area.
Michael Bruce, Glen Tanar Estate, said: “At Glen Tanar we have had tourism at the heart of our business for over 100 years and we welcome visitors from all over the world. Today's young people will shape the future of the tourism industry and we are delighted to welcome Aboyne Academy pupils to the estate for interactive, practical experience of our wildlife activities, events and self-catering cottages.”
James Bream, director of DYW North East Scotland said: “This pilot session was a fantastic example of a local business bringing what they do to life for the next generation and we hope that many of the students who attended the event will be inspired to pursue careers in this exciting and growing sector.”
Erin Stirton, Aboyne Academy pupil said: “I really enjoyed the tourism and hospitality day, before I came to Glen Tanar I didn’t know much about working in the industry. The wildlife workshop and estate tour was my favourite part of the day. It has really opened my eyes up to the world of tourism and hospitality and I would definitely consider a career in the industry.”