Minister for Skills Jamie Hepburn joined with local Glasgow North East MP, Anne McLaughlin to visit Glasgow Kelvin College’s Springburn Campus recently.
Recognising the potential of the College’s trailblazing ‘inclusive employment’ pilot project based on the best practice of Lemon Tree Hotels in India to align with policy aims, the Minister met with Principal, Derek Smeall and students from several departments to discuss progress with the UKIERI-funded programme and several other inclusion projects which the College is championing.
Several of the staff participating in the visit had been involved with the India project, travelling there in 2018 and 2019 to meet the remarkable paid trainees at Lemon Tree Hotels. Many of these employees have additional support needs and play a significant and valuable role within the organisation and the hospitality industry as a whole.
Glasgow Kelvin College is looking to work with hospitality industry partners here in Scotland to establish a programme of accredited qualifications and support which will help to kick-start a similar initiative at home.
The party were delighted to meet with students from the College’s NQ Pathways to Employment Skills and NQ Skills for Learning, Life and Work, both of which focus
on personal development and workplace skills. Students from HN Jewellery Design and Manufacture were also keen to invite both Anne and Jamie in to their workshops to see the creative process.
Derek Smeall, Principal, said;
“We’re thrilled to welcome both the Minister and our local MP, Anne McLaughlin, back to Glasgow Kelvin College to discuss the pioneering work being done to address inclusion, skills and sustainable employment for people with additional support needs. In addition, we are delighted that our students have been able to share their work and experience with our guests. We look forward to updating them later in the year with positive news about the success of our initiatives.”
Jamie Hepburn Minister for Skills said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to inclusive growth that benefits the wellbeing of Scotland’s population.
I am delighted that Glasgow Kelvin College is delivering opportunities to increase access to work-based learning for those from underrepresented groups. The stories I heard demonstrate the incredible resilience, determination and talent that employers can benefit from when they recruit a diverse workforce.”
Local MP, Anne McLaughlin, added;
“I am so proud that Glasgow Kelvin College based in the heart of my constituency is leading the way on this in Scotland. The way in which Lemon Trees Hotels in India has committed to being an inclusive employer in the very real sense of the word is nothing short of inspirational. They could have ensured that there were interpretation services available for members of staff with a hearing impairment but they go way beyond that and ensure every single staff member learns sign language.
They demonstrate that disabilities and learning disabilities need not prevent someone from playing a full part in their society and making the contribution to the economy that we all want to make. The relationship between the college and Lemon Tree Hotels is exciting and I can’t wait to see what happens here in Scotland.”