Smash success for 'A Taste of Borders Tourism'

A Tourism and Hospitality event, A Taste of Borders Tourism, organised by Local MSP Rachael Hamilton, Borders College, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Borders and Midlothian Borders Tourism Action Group (MBTAG) went down a treat with local students.

The event that welcomed 152 pupils from secondary schools across the Borders to Kelso Racecourse educated the invitees to learn more about the vast array of opportunities in the Tourism and Hospitality sector and encourage them to consider it as a rewarding career.

The event highlighted what skills are needed to succeed in the sector and also what skills the sector is short of.

The Scottish Borders is currently experiencing a skills gap in the Tourism & Hospitality sector despite being a key contributor to the local economy and one of the strongest in Scotland. It is estimated that tourism contributes around £20 million to the Borders economy.

The event is being kindly sponsored by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, Rabbie’s Tours Scotland, Kelso Racecourse and DYW Borders.

Organisations taking part in the event are:

  • Born in the Borders.
  • Firebrick Brasserie.
  • Visit Scotland.
  • Barony Castle.
  • Buccleuch Arms.
  • Carfraemill.
  • Borders College.
  • MBTAG.
  • Provender Melrose.

Rachael Hamilton MSP said: "Firstly, many thanks to all who sponsored and helped make this event happen. The Scottish Borders is proud to have one of the strongest Tourism & Hospitality sectors in Scotland and it is right that we celebrate it and work to make it stronger.

"The sector is facing a skills shortage challenge. However, we have incredibly talented young persons who can fill these shortages and actually help improve and grow the sector.

"The young people of the Scottish Borders can and will make a tremendous contribution to our local economy and we should support them to do just that. This event has highlighted the talent we have in our young persons. It is time to cultivate that talent and work together to see not only the Tourism & Hospitality sector grow, but also the Scottish Borders economy grow as a whole."

Alexandra Richards from Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers added: "Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers are delighted to have supported this inspiring event. It highlighted that a career in Hospitality & Tourism in the Scottish Borders is not just about working in a hotel or restaurant. If you are interested in digital marketing, filming, advertising, logistics, management, entrepreneurship and even insurance and risk management – all these roles can and need to be fulfilled in the Hospitality & Tourism Sector in the Scottish Borders with enthusiastic young people who are passionate about where they come from and want to showcase the Scottish Borders to the rest of the world.

"We are proud to be sponsors of Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland who have provided over 1,200 scholarships and more than 10,000 bursaries to nurture and support the development of local, emerging Scottish talent within the hospitality industry. Today’s interactive event delivered by Scottish Borders organisations played a really important and vital role in helping young people understand what opportunities are out there for them."