News & Blog

Read the latest business news, blogs and thought leadership articles from our members, as well as updates on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce's work in the city.

News & Blog

Welcome boost for tourism and hospitality sectors with return of fully funded talent development programme

Posted: 16th December 2021

News that the Tourism and Hospitality Talent Development Programme (THTDP), supported by the Scottish Government’s National Transition Training Fund would return the week commencing 7th February 2022 was announced at Scotland’s National Tourism Industry Conference at the end of November.  The virtual programme is now open for applications to everyone across all sectors in the industry from suppliers to DMOs, cafes to nightclubs, visitor attractions to serviced accommodation and all tourism and hospitality sectors in between.

Delivered by the Hospitality Industry Trust (HIT) Scotland and the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), the initiative is one of the key recommendations of the Tourism Task Force which provided independent recommendations for Scottish Ministers and the UK, and will motivate and develop top talent, equipping them with the skills, knowledge and networks to lead the industry through recovery.

The programme has evolved since the first round earlier in the year; applicants can choose from the Supervisory level, undertaking eight modules over eight weeks or the Management or Leadership levels with six modules being delivered over six weeks.  80 cohorts of 25 people from 700 tourism and hospitality businesses have completed the programme this year alone, making it the largest virtual training course ever to take place in Scotland. 78% of those who took part stated that the programme had improved their career prospects.

There are 1500 places available on the programme; applications will close on 16th January.


David Cochrane MBE, CEO HIT Scotland (Hospitality Industry Trust):

“We recognise the rollercoaster that our industry is enduring. So many factors are outwith our control and this makes planning incredibly difficult. One constant however is looking after our people and ensuring that they are supported and given the skills necessary to keep on delivering the world class service in Scotland and managing their people. Through the industry-led development of the THTDP, we can ensure that individuals and their businesses will receive inspirational learning and create that sense of belonging which we will all need to chart our way to recovery and beyond.”

Marc Crothall, Chief Executive of the STA:

“It has never been more important to protect, nurture, grow and retain the talent that exists within our tourism and hospitality sectors.  This is a vital part of our tourism offering; the warm, talented and passionate people who work in our industry offer a unique point of difference in terms of visitor experience, one that Scotland is so well known for the world over.  The development of our people and future skills is directly aligned to the growth priorities in Scotland’s tourism strategy, ‘Outlook 2030’ and I am delighted that the programme has been allocated the generous level of funding to date from the Scottish Government as a result of this being one of the Tourism Task Force recommendations.  Our tourism industry has a critical role to play in the recovery of Scotland’s economy and the opening of the second round of the programme has come at a time when again, we find ourselves operating very much in crisis mode but with the resilience and determination to take every opportunity to strengthen, rebuild and recover.”

Lawrence Durden, Key Sector Manager for Tourism at Skills Development Scotland (SDS) said:

“The National Transition Training Fund is focused on helping people acquire the skills that are most in demand across our economy.

For Scottish tourism and hospitality businesses, that means developing the supervisory, leadership and management skills that are prized by employers of all sizes.

This programme will help these businesses, large and small, to develop the skills of their staff and be better equipped to respond to the many challenges the sector currently faces, including recruitment and retention.

In this way the fund can help businesses recover from the pandemic, enhance visitor experiences and remain globally competitive, while also helping people take the next step in an exciting and rewarding career.”

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
Read more here