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Diageo launches £5m training programme to help youngsters find career in hospitality industry.

Drinks giant Diageo has launched a £5 million training programme to help young people carve a career in the hospitality industry.

The training led by Gleneagles chairman Peter Lederer is aimed at alleviating unemployment while giving the sector a skills boost.

Around 200 graduates will be offered work experience in roles linked to Scotland's hosting of the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

As well as learning bar tending and hospitality, participants on the six-week course will be trained in interview preparation, teamwork and communication to help their employment prospects.

Mr Lederer, a director of Diageo in Scotland, said: "The 2014 Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland in the same year gives us a unique opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of young people and also to give a real boost to our hospitality industry.

"With Learning for Life, Scotland, Diageo is determined to play its part in seizing that opportunity and looking beyond 2014, we want to build on that by using our business in the broadest sense to help create opportunities for young people in manufacturing as well as hospitality.

"We also want to use the programme to encourage the kind of entrepreneurship which has made Scotch whisky a global triumph."

Diageo, which owns drinks brands including Johnnie Walker, Guinness and Smirnoff, is an official partner of this year's Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

The firm first launched its Learning for Life programme in Latin America in 2008. The Scotland launch sees the training rolled out in Europe for the first time.

It has received support from Skills Development Scotland (SDS), members of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association and the charity Springboard UK .

SDS chief executive Damien Yeates said: "The programme aligns with our own employability work in that it's not just about giving someone a job.

"It's important that we all take it a step further by equipping young people with skills they can use in future employment. SDS is delighted to support Learning for Life and we look forward to seeing future stars of key industries emerge from this programme."

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