Focus on Scottish apprentices

Alex with one of his creations.

Alex with one of his creations.

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A POPULAR Benbecula hotel is counting the benefits of taking on enthusiastic Modern Apprentices, as Skills Development Scotland’s Scottish Apprenticeship Week (May 21 to 25) gets underway.

Lachlan MacLean, manager of the Dark Island Hotel in Linicleat, says investing in staff through the Modern Apprenticeship initiative has paid dividends for his business.

“We’re a small hotel, on an island community, so good service from properly trained staff is essential,” he explains. “We have four Modern Apprentices working as part of our 20-strong team, and all of them are doing very well.

“Being part of the Modern Apprenticeship programme, supported by Skills Development Scotland, has been a big boost for us as it allows to train our staff to meet the needs of our business. We’re delighted with the results.”

The Dark Island Hotel is a popular venue for events, conferences and holidays, so staff are welcoming a range of visitors from wedding parties to businessmen and women.

Alex Wicks completed his Modern Apprenticeship at the hotel, in conjunction with Cothrom Training, last year and he is now working in the kitchens as a chef.

“Working and studying at the same time can be pretty exhausting but it is worth it,” says the 20-year-old.

“I felt like I was part of the team from the beginning and I learned a great deal. Everyone was very supportive.”

John McClelland, Chair of Skills Development Scotland, said: “It has never been more important for businesses across Scotland to grow and develop a skilled workforce.”

Employers can find out how they can access support to help them to employ apprentices by calling our helpline on 0800 783 6000 or going to: