Scottish hospitality industry professionals will be able to apply for a place on a £100,000 scholarship scheme from Wednesday 9 September.
The Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland is set to award around 100 emerging-talent scholarships during 2011, with the window for applications opening this week.
The scheme aims to raise aspirations and professionalism within the industry through learning experiences at top businesses at home and abroad, as well as short courses at the world's best hospitality schools.
Applications, which close on 29 October, are open to all levels and professions of the industry and can come from businesses of any size. Former applicants range from HR staff and chefs, to hotel GMs and bar managers.
This year, the organisers are concentrating on providing fewer but more prestigious experiences. The six categories are: craft, student, young manager, middle manager, leadership and the bespoke Frank Mullen Scholarships.
Previous scholars have attended the Disney Institute in Florida, Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, Switzerland, and Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration in New York State. Other recipients have taken the opportunity to go behind the scenes of six-star resorts in Dubai. Aspiring chefs have been placed in Michelin-starred kitchens and sommeliers with top wine experts. HR, marketing and events staff are also covered through the scheme.
The scholarships will be awarded at a ceremony during the seventh Emerging Talent Conference in February.
The scholarship scheme is paid for through corporate sponsorship from companies including food supplier Brakes, Enterprise Rent a Car, Wiseman Dairies, Swisscom, Prestige Scotland and Caterer.com.
David Cochrane, chief executive of HIT Scotland, said: "Over the past seven years we have been able to refine the format for our scholarships to provide long-term benefit not only to the individuals involved but the industry as a whole. By broadening horizons, we help encourage the leaders of tomorrow to emerge and drive the industry forward."
All applications are handled online via the HIT Scotland website www.hitscotland.org. The site also contains videos and case studies from former scholars.
By Neil Gerrard
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