Over 400 hospitality delegates gathered at the sold out Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland Emerging Talent Conference on 4th February to award the scholarship class of 2016.
HIT Scotland awarded 164 once in a lifetime scholarships during the ceremony at the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow to aspiring individuals working in or studying towards a career in hospitality. These scholarships will provide the recipients with an invaluable opportunity to improve their skills and progress within the industry.
The scholarship categories included the Lausanne (Management) Scholarship, Disney Scholarship, Glion Executive Scholarship, the Green Tourism Scholarship and Diageo Learning for Life.
According to David Cochrane, HIT Scotland chief executive, the class of 2016 was the toughest decision making process yet: “Choosing the recipients of the scholarships is always a long and difficult process because, of course, we wish all applicants could get one, however this year was the most difficult yet due to the sheer volume of applications received.
“In previous years we have received around 350 but this year our office was inundated with over 500 applications. This is very exciting for the hospitality industry and a great testament to the work of HIT Scotland.”
The conference included keynote speakers from the hospitality industry and an inspirational talk from professional boxer and Commonwealth Gold Medallist, Charlie Flynn.
Mark Flannagan, Royal Chef and Assistant Master of Catering at Buckingham Palace, told stories of his life and career in one of the most famous kitchens in the world and had some sound advice for young people starting in the hospitality industry. He said: “Hospitality is a world full of opportunities, you just need to be willing to grab them by being tenacious, determined and enthusiastic.”
The final speaker of the day was James Rusk of The Rusk Company, Hutchesons and The Butchershop Bar & Grill.
The full day conference also included workshops with top hospitality names and exhibitors who provided practical advice and tools for attendees.