9 March 2016
By Bryan T. Smyth
Learning For Life, the Diageo initiative that equips the long term unemployed with the skills needed to find work in the hospitality and tourism industry, was launched in the Metropole Hotel, Cork yesterday. This is the first year that Learning For Life is available in Cork and 11 young people from across Cork have commenced training and education in the intensive certified eight week training programme which is run partnership with Diageo, the Department of Social Protection and local education and training partners. Following completion of the education and training element the participants will take up a four week work placement with a Diageo hospitality industry partner in landmark pubs, hotels and restaurants in Cork.
2016 is the third year of Learning For Life, which was originally piloted in Dublin 8 in 2014, and is now the largest ever with 120 young people participating across Dundalk, Waterford, Dublin, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick and Cork, since the programme was launched 70% of all participants have continued in either employment or full time education.
Yesterday in the Metropole Hotel Cork, Diageo Ireland, Cork Education and Training Board, Department of Social Protection in Cork and the Vintners Federation of Ireland came together to launch the Learning for Life Programme Cork .
Angela Smith, Head of the Learning For Life programme at Diageo Ireland said: “Learning for Life is all about empowering young people and finding meaningful and sustainable solutions to youth unemployment in the hospitality industry which is one of Ireland’s most exciting and important industries. We are delighted to be in a position to expand the programme to Cork and it is great to have some fantastic partners on board including the Metropole Hotel, Cork where we know participants will receive some of the best in class training.”
Rea Kennedy, chair of the Cork City Vintners Federation of Ireland said “Without doubt, one of the key reasons that people come to Ireland is to experience the conversation and warm welcome in pubs and restaurants across the country so it is wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the participants for the Learning for Life programme and I am confident that they will make a valuable contribution in the hospitality industry.”
John Byron of Cork Education and Training Board said: “The Cork Education and Training Board will provide accreditation to successful participants on the programme. We have worked closely with Diageo and Learning For Life partners to develop a course which focuses on skills that are relevant for the hospitality and tourism industry, such as bar skills, serving skills and customer engagement skills, as well as important job skills like interview skills, team work and computer skills. ”
Sean O’Sullivan, Employer Engagement at the Department of Social Protection Cork said “Learning for Life is a prime example of public and private partners working together to tackle unemployment. One of our key aims in recent years has been to work with industry partners to identify work and training opportunities for jobseekers and to help employers with their recruitment needs.”