A historic Aberdeen hotel has signed an agreement with Portlethen Academy, which will see them both working in partnership as part of the Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) initiative.

Maryculter House and Portlethen Academy signed an influencing partnership on Wednesday, October 9 at the hotel on South Deeside Road. The partnership will involve both institutions working closely to bridge the gap between education and the workplace, up-skilling young people and bringing theoretical learning to life with employer input and experience.

The agreement, which was signed by Maryculter House managing director, Peter Walker and Portlethen Academy head teacher, Neil Morrison, establishes a new relationship between the hotel and the school, which will have a direct impact on the curriculum and therefore the learning of pupils in the long-term. Following the signing, a working session was also held for 20 teachers from the Academy.

One of Aberdeen’s historic hotels, Maryculter House will work with the school to roll out a number of events, initiatives and opportunities, aimed at giving young people experience across the spectrum of the hospitality and tourism industries. These will include sponsorship, curricular links with key departments, work experience, mentoring, parents’ evenings and talks. Pupils will also have the opportunity to get involved with hotel-run events such as the Ghillies’ Lunch, which is part of Maryculter House’s support for the River Dee Trust.

Peter Walker, Managing Director of Maryculter House, welcomed the partnership saying: “All of us at Maryculter House are very much looking forward to working with the staff and pupils at Portlethen Academy – it’s part of a long-term commitment that will integrate the hotel into the school’s community. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to share our knowledge, experience and expertise, and hopefully inspire the next generation to pursue a career in this industry – it’s one which offers so many different and rewarding pathways, as well as being truly global in scale. Having benefitted from some tremendous role models and mentors in my own career, I am absolutely passionate about offering the same opportunities and inspiration to young people, and supporting their careers in the hospitality and tourism industries.”

Neil Morrison, Headteacher at Portlethen Academy, said: “We place great value on our partnerships, as they allow us to give our young people real experiences of the world of work. This partnership with Maryculter House is a fantastic opportunity to link with a leader in the key growth area of hospitality and tourism. We are really excited to work with Peter Walker and his team to give our young people and staff experiences in a key sector for the North east economy.”

Mary Holland, director of DYW North East, added: “Meaningful partnerships between businesses and schools create a number of mutually beneficial advantages for both, which is why we are pleased to mark this newest collaboration. It is never too early to inspire the next generation of business leaders and expand young people’s horizons when it comes to the variety of career paths open to them. We look forward to a long and rewarding relationship between Maryculter House and Portlethen Academy, one which provides pupils with the best start to their future careers.”