RSS Feeds

Advanced search

You are in:


Diageo training course supports Ukrainian refugees in hospitality sector

Diageo is celebrating the graduation of 14 students, seven of which are Ukrainian refugees, from its Learning for Life hospitality training programme.

The programme aims to give its students training and experience in working at bars and hotels across Edinburgh, readying their skills for jobs in the hospitality sector. Lasting six weeks, the course was a blend of face-to-face and digital training as well as work experience. Students completed the Johnnie Walker Journey of Flavour tour and even had a tour of Glenkinchie Distillery.

Diageo announced a three-year partnership with Springboard and The Prince’s Trust to deliver the Learning for Life programmes across the UK. Since launching in the UK back in 2014, 5,374 people have participated in the programme, which features north of 362 courses.

Seven of the graduated students are Ukrainian refugees, while students from Mexico and India were also a part of the programme, as well as locals based in Edinburgh.

Learning for Life programme manager Gillian Dalziel commented: “At Diageo we are committed to creating a positive impact within our communities. Learning for Life play an important role allowing us to champion diversity and inclusion, not only in our business, but across the industry. Since the onset of the war in Ukraine, so many people have had to uproot their life and give up careers that they have worked so hard to develop. It has been a real honour to support the participants on this course to develop new skills and build relationships in the Scottish hospitality sector, which has so much to offer those looking for an exciting and rewarding career.”

One of the Ukrainian refugees, Hanna Korneiko, joined the course with the hopes of it providing a route into employment following her move to Scotland in the summer.

Korneiko said: “Back home in Ukraine, I had an established career and a business with my husband, which we ran together. I was also very passionate about fitness and motivating others and so I had decided to become a trainer. When the war began, my husband and I decided that my son and I should leave the country and so I found myself in Scotland, starting from the very beginning. 

“My diplomas and achievements from Ukraine mean very little here and when I arrived, I only knew about 10 words in English. I was very afraid that this was going to hold me back from finding work. I was lucky to be introduced to Learning for life which has given me so much confidence in my abilities. The team have shown me that nothing is impossible and after six weeks, I have been offered a job to work at Apex Hotels and my ambition now is to become a hotel manager.”

Eight of the 14 graduates have already secured jobs with local employers in Edinburgh, including at Apex Hotels and The George Hotel. 


16 November 2022 - Bradley Weir