Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Programme to return

Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Programme (THTDP)
Katharine Johnston

Following a successful inaugural programme developed in response to Covid-19 challenges, the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Programme (THTDP) has been funded for a second year.

The news was announced on 25th November by David Cochrane MBE, HIT Scotland’s Chief Executive, at Scotland's National Tourism Industry Conference at the EICC, where around 200 participants of the inaugural programme were awarded their certificates.

The Scottish Government funded programme was first launched in January 2021 to combat the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality & tourism industries. THTDP saw enthusiastic feedback from industry representatives and participants, with 78% of those who took part agreeing the programme has improved their career prospects.

80 cohorts of 25 people from 700 tourism and hospitality businesses took part, making the programme the largest virtual training course ever to take place in Scotland.

The programme, run jointly by Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), was designed to support and develop talent at leadership, management, and supervisory levels. The first round of the programme received over 2000 applications from employees on furloughed leave or experiencing redundancy.

Full details of the new version of the programme and how to enter will be released in early December, check back on the HIT Scotland website for updates:

David Cochrane MBE, Chief Executive, HIT Scotland, commented:

“We are absolutely delighted that the Talent Development Programme has been renewed for phase two. The huge success of the first showed the desire for those in the hospitality and tourism industries to continue their professional development and help get the sectors back up and running after a difficult two years. We are dedicated to supporting our industry through this inspirational programme and thank our partner organisations for their continuing support in doing so.”

Jane Rennie, Founder & CEO, The Extraordinary Training Company, who designed the programme, added:

“I am delighted that the second THTDP is scheduled to run again in early 2022. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that investment in people is key. There are strong links between an upbeat working environment, happy staff, loyal customers and increased footfall. Put simply, the capability and upskilling of all employees has never mattered more.”

Angela Dineen, Operations Director, The Scotch Whisky Experience, who had several employees on the programme, said:

“The HIT Programme came at the perfect time for our team, after a lengthy period on furlough they all agreed that the course got them back in the frame of mind for returning to work and they felt motivated and engaged with our business again. The unanimous feedback from all participants was how useful it was to meet with their peers from other businesses and discuss common issues. Our team returned to work full of great ideas and suggestions for how we could do things differently, which was much needed as we adapted to the post COVID environment.”

Stand out statistics

  • 78% of 1540 respondents agreed or strongly agreed the programme has improved their career prospects

  • 95% of respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with the programme

  • 84% of respondents were very likely to recommend the programme to a friend or colleague