Bartender students toast their success

Bartender students toast their success

Thirteen students celebrated completing the six-week Ayrshire Bartender training course during a special ceremony held at the Salt & Barrel training restaurant on Ayrshire College’s Kilmarnock Campus.

Ayrshire College works in partnership with Diageo as part of their Learning for Life programme. The programme provides students with coaching, core employability skills and specialist bartender training, plus seven industry recognised qualifications, which opens the door to a wide range of exciting hospitality career opportunities in Scotland.

The celebration marks the twentieth Diageo Learning for Life programme to have taken place in association with Ayrshire College since November 2014. As part of their training, the students undertook two weeks of work experience with some of Ayrshire’s leading restaurants, hotels and bars including - 7 Saints, Unboxed, The Riverside Lodge, The Tartan Sheep, Oscars, Levy Restaurants, & The Park Hotel as well as Ayrshire College, to gain vital on-the-job experience and learn from industry experts.

As part of the training programme the group were treated to an exclusive tour and tasting at Glenkinchie Distillery, a tour of the luxury Lochgreen House Hotel in Troon, a wine cellar talk and taste from Corney & Barrow in Ayr, as well as attending the Diageo Bar Academy which included a cocktail masterclass and lunch at Salt & Barrel training restaurant.

Pauline Scott, Learner Engagement Officer said “Our Ayrshire College students in Kilmarnock have been working incredibly hard for the last six weeks, we are delighted to celebrate their success. It has been wonderful for us to see the students develop not only their knowledge and skills, but also their confidence.

“We really appreciate the support we have received from local employers, particularly the time that they have spent encouraging and supporting our students - the assistance is really crucial to the success of the course.”

Diageo Learning for Life graduate Donna McMaster (39) from Stevenston adds, “It has changed my life and given me confidence to move forward again I just wish the course was longer”.

Since its launch in 2014, over 1,300 unemployed people have graduated from the Diageo Learning for Life programme, with 83% of graduates going on to further training or employment and 78% securing long-term employment – a success rate which makes it one of Scotland’s leading employability schemes.

The next programme starts on 10 June 2019. For more information about the course or to find out more about providing work experience placements, contact

30 April 2019

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