QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 80 - Page 21

Minister shares vision for Scotland’s tourism industry S TUDENTS FROM THE Hospitality and Tourism Academy enjoyed a couple of trips to the Scottish Parliament recently. In October, Scotland’s Minister for Tourism, Fergus Ewing, invited the academy students to the Parliament to hear about government plans for the hospitality and tourism industry in Scotland and to share his aspirations for the industry’s future. The Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism is a big supporter of the highly successful Hospitality and Tourism Academy. He said: “Some of the industry’s leading employers have participated in the academy programme and have hailed it as providing the skills and capabilities they need, which is a huge testament to its success.” Fergus continued: “Our tourism industry is vitally important to Scotland’s economy, supporting thousands of jobs and generating just over £9 billion in revenue every year. With that in mind, it is essential that the sector benefits from a highly skilled workforce. The Hospitality and Tourism Academy is a prime example of a project where young people can learn skills and expertise that the wider industry can ultimately benefit from.” ❒ Cooking up at storm at the Scottish Parliament A NOTHER GROUP OF students from the Hospitality and Tourism Academy had the chance to serve up a gourmet meal to the country’s top politicians in the Members’ Restaurant at the Scottish Parliament. The students ran the kitchen and front of house at the restaurant and created an impressive three-course meal to paying MSPs and their guests. The MSPs dined on pan-fried pigeon breast with parsnip puree and nasturtium salad; pork fillet in pinwheel oat crust with champ mashed potatoes and haricot verts; and white chocolate cheesecake with passion fruit jelly and passion fruit curd. Sixteen-year-old Dalkeith High School student Dawn McDermott, who was working in the front-of-house team, said: “It was a really good night. The front of house staff and the kitchen worked well together so it was a brilliant team effort and everyone enjoyed it. The M SPs were lovely and were chatting to us all about what we were doing and what we want to do after school. It was such a good opportunity to experience something totally different from what we’re used to and we learned a lot.” Professor Alan Gilloran, QMU’s Deputy Principal, said: “2014 was fantastic year for our Hospitality and Tourism Academy students. Showcasing their talents to MSPs and their guests at the Scottish Parliament was a great way for them to end the year on a high. “The students really rose to the challenge on the night and thrived under pressure. Unique practical experiences like this are hugely valuable to the academy students’ development. They can be confident that their experiences will help them stand out from the crowd in this key growth industry by having the specialist skills and knowledge employers are looking for.” ❒ QMYOU / The Academies 21