March is a busy month, with lots of opportunities.
Scottish Tourism Month takes place in March, an opportunity to celebrate the incredible, thriving and diverse industry that forms a major part of Scotland’s workforce and a key aspect of our national economy. Large and small events occur all over the country to share best practice, promote new opportunities and encourage us to be bigger and better.
The first week of March is also Apprenticeship Week, dedicated time to nationally and locally recognise the extraordinary opportunities that apprenticeships offer to young people, employees, businesses and Scotland as a whole. As well as the invaluable contribution that the apprentices themselves make.
Ms Day at Montrose Academy took advantage of both these events when she planned her Tourism & Hospitality Event for senior pupils on Tuesday 5th March, with a focus on employability.
Ms Day, a Geography and Travel & Tourism teacher at Montrose Academy, had previously attended the
Angus S3 Hospitality & Tourism Taster Day organised by DYW Dundee & Angus in January. There she saw how valuable engagement with local businesses is to young people. Direct engagement broadens horizons, sets realistic expectations about the working world, makes young people aware of the soft skills they need to thrive in the workplace and can help young people on the path towards a positive career. The event also made it clear that the tourism and hospitality industry is one of growth, with a wide range of job opportunities for all levels of ability and areas of interest and contains a large variety of entry and progression pathways.
Ms Day wanted to offer this insight and these opportunities to the senior pupils of Montrose Academy who are studying Hospitality and/or Travel & Tourism, to help inform their next steps and prepare them for leaving education for the world of work.
Copying the format of the January DYW event Ms Day invited local employers from the tourism and hospitality industry to come into school and deliver a series of workshops over the course of a morning. Workshops that gave the pupils insight into aspects and roles in the tourism and hospitality industry they perhaps hadn’t considered. The hands-on workshops also illustrated to the pupils the soft skills that are required by industry and their value.
Ms Day supplemented the industry specific workshops with a talk from Skills Development Scotland about apprenticeships (Foundation, Modern and Graduate) and the multitude of apprenticeships that are available within the hospitality and tourism industry. DYW Dundee & Angus team member Rachel also delivered a workshop on employability, particularly soft skills and the STAR interview technique.
Ms Day organised this event herself and with the support of Montrose Academy, and the DYW Dundee & Angus team, offering a vital opportunity and insight to almost 60 senior pupils.
Ms Day built relationships with many of the employers present at the January DYW event, creating a strong network of contacts that can support this event and others like it in the future. She then took advantage of Founders 4 Schools, the free digital platform that connects teachers with local professionals who are keen to engage with young people. Ms Day also tapped into her own personal connections, using every advantage she could find to inform and support the young people in her charge.
Montrose Academy’s first Tourism & Hospitality Event was a success, the pupils were engaged, asking relevant questions and gaining great insight into the potential in the tourism & hospitality industry. As well as awareness and understanding of general employability.
Any teacher can organise their own DYW event, large or small. Take a look through our case studies for inspiration. Take advantage of Marketplace and Founders 4 Schools. The DYW Dundee & Angus team are here to support you in every way to create opportunities for your young people, get in touch for more information.