Diageo learning for life graduates – A number of refugees and asylum seekers are among the latest 25 graduates of Diageo’s Learning for Life programme who received their certificates in a special ceremony, held at the Guinness Storehouse today.
Refugees and asylum seekers among Diageo learning for life graduates.
A number of refugees and asylum seekers are among the latest 25 graduates of Diageo Ireland’s Learning for Life programme who received their certificates in a special ceremony, held at the Guinness Storehouse today.
The Learning for Life programme equips people with the skills and training needed for employment in the hospitality industry. Today’s graduates were joined by others of the Professional Food & Trainee-ship Programme.
One of the graduates of this class came to Ireland aged 13 as an unaccompanied minor. He is now 19 and currently on work placement with a Limerick city hotel.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Liam Reid, Director of Corporate Relations, Diageo Ireland said, “I’d like to congratulate all the Learning for Life graduates for pledging their commitment to the programme. They have continuously demonstrated an excellent work ethic right throughout their training and placement. And the training they have received has equipped them with the skills necessary to benefit from future opportunities to work in the ever-growing hospitality industry.
“I wish to extend my gratitude to Limerick Clare Education and Training Board, Positive to Work Skillnet along with the industry partners for the hours and dedication they provide to our young graduates to ensure the Learning for Life programme continues to be a success. The Programme is key to the Open Doors Initiative that has seen us come together with other companies to create employment opportunities. The programme has developed and we ran it with the asylum and migrant group last year, today we see graduates from direct provision and earlier this year in Kilkenny the programme included a learner on the autism spectrum and another with dyspraxia,” he added.
The 14 graduates today were a combination of learners from direct provision and the Limerick and Clare areas. This is the first time Diageo Ireland has integrated learners from different communities into these blended programmes.
The initiative was run in partnership with the Department of Justice and Equality, Doras Luimnigh and the Department of Employment and Social Protection.
Last year Diageo Ireland ran a pilot Learning for Life programme with a refugee and asylum seekers group in Mosney. This led to the foundation of the ‘Open Doors Initiative’ where with the support of Government, Diageo and other companies have come together to create employability opportunities for those in categories that are still seeing high unemployment numbers – namely refugee and migrant groups, people with a disability and under 25’s with educational disadvantage.
Learning for Life was originally piloted in Dublin 8 in 2014 and programmes have since taken place across Dublin, Louth, Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Kerry and Kilkenny in partnership with a number of Government Departments. More than 300 learners have participated, and two thirds are now working.
Learning for Life is Diageo Ireland’s cornerstone CSR programme developed by the company as part of its commitment to sustainable community-based initiatives in Ireland.
Diageo identified a skills gap in the hospitality industry and developed a programme with a focus to equip young people with hospitality industry skills, providing real employment opportunities and facilitating future job growth.
For more information about the Learning for Life Programme and Diageo Ireland, click here.
For more stories on refugees, click here.