On Wednesday 22 March we were delighted to host 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.
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.
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 was led by Ghillie, Craig McDonald, and Underkeeper, Aidan McCrae. Pupils learnt about the customer service role of a ghillie and deer stalker and were given a demonstration of the equipment the wildlife team use, followed by a land rover safari where Aidan explained his role as a tour guide. Pupils also learned about the different natural species that can be seen in the area.
They also learned about the importance of creating a good customer experience in a hospitality workshop which highlighted how important customer-facing and back of house staff are to the success of a business.
Hospitality Training gave pupils an overview of the range of modern apprenticeships offered in the hospitality sector and the different entry routes and careers paths open to them. Following this successful workshop, Glen Tanar Estate 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 tourism and hospitality 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 hospitality and I would definitely consider a career in the industry.”
The event was a great success and we look forward to welcoming back more pupils to this event next year!