QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 83 - Page 27

Successful tourism initiative now on track at Waverley Station A SUCCESSFUL EMPLOYER engagement project, which was piloted at Edinburgh International Airport, will now be rolled out to create paid work for students at one of Scotland main railway stations. The STARS project, which responded to airport management’s requirement to improve the customer experience of international visitors, will now be adopted by Virgin Trains. The initiative has provided outstanding career development opportunities for hospitality, events and PR students by helping them develop international customer relations skills whilst being positioned at the airport’s international arrivals point. Conceived by QMU’s world-leading events industry academic and the University’s Employability and Development Adviser, the partnership enhances the visitor experience at the airport, providing positive first impressions and strengthening Scotland’s reputation as a welcoming nation. Christine DePlacido from QMU’s Clinical Audiology, Speech and Language Research Centre, said: “We’re extremely grateful to Dr Barr-Hamilton and the Oticon Foundation for helping us mark our 10th anniversary by housing the Scottish Hearing Aid Collection at QMU. “There are very few collections of hearing aids as comprehensive as this in the UK outside London. We feel it provides the University with an unrivalled opportunity to raise awareness about hearing loss and deafness, as well as providing audiology students and members of the public with a deeper understanding of the evolution of the modern hearing aids.” Gavin Lockhart from Oticon, added: “The Oticon Foundation recognised the merits in ensuring the Collection found a suitable home to tell its story. Where better to showcase this Collection than QMU - a source of lifeblood for the future of audiology?” The hearing aid collection is now on public display on the 2nd floor at QMU. ❒ The project has been particularly enhanced due to the talents of multilingual UK and international students who were able to converse with international visitors. In addition, the students, who worked as Ambassadors, have benefited from paid employment, which in some cases has led to international work opportunities at, for example, Walt Disney World. Juan Garcia, Employability and Development Adviser at QMU, explained: “Edinburgh International Airport was so pleased with the pilot that it funded the extension of the project for a year. In that time, our STARS students interacted with more than 90,000 visitors to the airport which helped improve their costumer experience. In addition to satisfying the needs of the employer, it provided improved levels of confidence amongst the STARS and provided outstanding paid work in their chosen area. “We are delighted that the potential of this project has been recognised by the industry and that further work opportunities will now be available at Waverley Station, Edinburgh through funding from Virgin Trains.” ❒ QMYOU / Development News 29