Olympic Rower at Scottish Conference to Promote Hospitality Talent

Scotland’s only event bringing together professionals and students to talk about the future of the country’s hospitality, leisure, tourism and travel industries takes place in Glasgow next week.

On Tuesday 7 February 2012, the Glasgow Science Centre hosts the eighth Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland emerging talent conference.

Attendees, including young people from Scottish businesses and colleges, will hear from Katherine Grainger MBE, the Olympic rower, as she makes her only public speech before competing in London 2012. The Glasgow born athlete has won a record breaking three Olympic medals and is a world champion rower.

Other keynote speakers are Peter Fisk, bestselling author of Creative Genius, founder of innovation business GeniusWorks and advisor to some of the world’s leading brands, and Captain Nick Bates the former captain of the QM2.

A series of workshop include experts such as award winning chef Willie Pike MBE; Shirley Spear of the Michelin starred Three Chimneys; the Green Tourism Business Scheme; Costa Coffee; Ecole de hotelier de Lausanne, Europe’s leading hospitality school and Women 1st.

The conference aims to raise standards and aspirations across Scotland. HIT Scotland will also announce the recipients of a £100,000 emerging talent scholarship programme.

This year, HIT Scotland has selected 80 of the 500 applicants who have the most potential to become future leaders. HIT Scotland scholars are expected to use their experiences to raise the skills and standards of their peers and take a future leadership role in the industry. Destinations include hotels in Dubai, Cornell University, schools in Switzerland and Cornell and Michelin starred kitchens.

The HIT Scotland Emerging Talent Conference is supported by Skills Development Scotland, People 1st, Xpress recruitment and Jupiter Hotels.

On the conference, Peter Fisk said, “Economic downturns are times of great shake-up when innovators can capture new moods and gaps in the market. Hospitality has seen less innovation than most sectors. It will be the emerging talent of the industry who take these opportunities, who try new ideas and ways thinking and dare to be different. They should forget Tripadvisor and think like the Thunder Show, instead of Facebook try Path, switch off X Factor and learn from their X Box. It is up to them to shape the future of hospitality.”

Captain Nick Bates, said, “Having worked on some of the most famous Cruise ships in the world I can quite empathise with HIT Scotland and the Emerging Talents they help to support. The service industry is one of the most important in Scotland and it is a pleasure for me to help share some of my experiences and encourage those who are making a career in the Hotel and catering industry.”

Shirley Spear, proprietor of the Three Chimneys, in Skye said, “The conference is wonderful chance to speak to people not only about the great career paths in hospitality but about the opportunities working for small and rural businesses.”

Tickets cost £ 80.00 and are available from www.hitscotland.org

HIT Scotland is supported by I am Clothing Solutions, Highland Spring, Robert Wiseman Dairies, Caterer.com, Enterprise Rent a Car, Phillips and Brakes Fresh Ideas

Photo courtesy of Peter Devlin SportScotland

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