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A hotel chain has launched its own Modern Apprenticeship programme, creating 66 vacancies across its 66 Scottish branches.

Premier Inn made the announcement as it welcomed Minister for Youth and Women's Employment Annabelle Ewing to its branch on Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

The programme, developed in partnership with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and hospitality training provider the ITC Academy, will give apprentices the chance to train in all areas of the business whilst being paid the same rate as their team members in the same positions.

Developing new skills

Annabelle Ewing, Minister for Youth and Women's Employment, said:  “I am very pleased to see Premier Inn launching a new scheme that will give dozens of Scots the opportunity to gain a new qualification and develop new skills while they earn.

“The Scottish Government is committed to creating 25,500 new Modern Apprenticeship opportunities in 2015/16 and our work around Developing the Young Workforce includes seeking an improved gender balance for new starts.

“This is a significant contribution to that target and I wish the first tranche of Premier Inn MAs all the very best.”

Apprentices will also gain recognised hospitality industry qualifications at Level 2 and be given a permanent contract with progression opportunities on completion of the programme.

Earn and learn

Audrey Gillespie, Premier Inn Regional Operations Director in Scotland, said:  “I am absolutely delighted and very proud to be launching our new Scottish Modern Apprenticeship Programme in partnership with ITC Academy and Skills Development Scotland.

“Together we have created a structured programme with additional practical experiences where apprentices can earn and learn at the same time, get paid the same rate as other team members and secure a permanent position at the end of it.

“Our new apprentices will be given the chance not only to learn from other people across all areas and levels of the business but help build their knowledge and communication skills, resulting in invaluable work and life skills.”

Lawrence Durden, Skills Development Scotland’s Tourism Sector Manager, added: “Modern Apprenticeships are vital for the hospitality industry to continue to attract talented young people and to develop skills.

“It’s fantastic to see that Premier Inn is committed to developing its workforce and that more than 60 young people will benefit from these Modern Apprenticeships.”

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