Twelve unemployed young people from Edinburgh have successfully completed Scotland's first Get into Hotels programme run by Marriott Hotels, in conjunction with The Prince's Trust.
Designed to help unemployed young people break into the city's thriving hotel scene, the programme has already seen eight of the group secure jobs with some of Edinburgh's leading properties.
On completion of the three weeks of training, mentoring and hands-on experience, James Thomson, owner of Prestonfield House hotel in Edinburgh, presented the group with certificates for food hygiene, responsible service of alcohol and health and safety.
Torren Wilson, 24, one of the graduates to be offered a permanent job by the Marriott Edinburgh had previously been unemployed for five months.
"I was feeling low and I had given up on myself," he said. "The course has given me a bit of belief in myself and I couldn't ask for anything better. Before I went on the course, I was actually unaware of the opportunities on offer in hospitality. I've now seen that there are a million doors that could open once you get into the industry."
Other hotels which offered work experience to the young people during the course included the Sheraton Grande, Balmoral, Thistle King James, Carlton, Radisson Blu, the Rutland, the Roxburghe and Prestonfield House.
Tricia Rainey, cluster director of human resources at Marriott Hotels Scotland, said: "Young people can find themselves in a vicious circle, struggling to get a job without experience and unable to get that experience without first getting a job. Get into Hotels has given them the experience and skills that were missing from their CVs and seen them grow in confidence."
Finlay Laverty of the Prince's Trust, added that the success of the first Get into Hotels programme - a variation of a course the charity runs in other industries - has encouraged the charity to continue its work with Marriott Hotels:
"By working in partnership with world-class brands like Marriott, our Get into programmes give young people a winning combination of training and experience. Partnerships like this not only allow young people to realise their ambitions and aspirations but also demonstrate to employers just how much they have to offer."
Get into Hotels was funded by the Wood Family Trust, Edinburgh Capital City Partnership, the Scottish Government and the European Social Fund.