Macdonald Hotels is investing £700,000 and creating 30 new jobs by launching a new education and training centre in Scotland.
Based at the Macdonald Aviemore Highland Resort, the Centre of Applied Tourism and Hospitality Management aims to help combat the growing skills shortage within the hospitality industry.
There are currently more than 20,000 tourism vacancies waiting to be filled in the UK, and this situation is set to worsen as the industry grows, and the country continues to attract major events such as the 2012 Olympics.
The centre will initially cater for 24 students, but within three years, up to 120 national and international students will be studying at the centre. It will be run by Craig Thompson, who has trained many of the world’s upcoming hospitality managers.
Thompson said: “Hospitality and tourism is crucial to the UK economy, employing nearly two million people – and generating more than £70bn annually, but still many students choose it as a last resort.”
David Guile, deputy chief executive of Macdonald Hotels and Resorts, said: “As a leader in the market, we can offer students a wealth of knowledge and expertise and, just as importantly, the chance to gain hands-on skills through working in hotels across the country.”