Connecting Northern Europe with Scotland: Lapland UAS and UHI Perth bridge the divide to offer work placement opportunities in Scotland and Finland.
With the demand for educated tourism staff increasing, Lapland UAS and UHI Perth have teamed up to connect students from both institutes with opportunities to work and earn accredited study placements within a network of Luxury Tourism and Outdoor Education providers.
The end of May Lapland UAS staff members Anu Harju-Myllyaho, Tommi Haapakangas and Ben Taylor made a trip to Perth, Scotland to investigate opportunities available for students within the Scottish Luxury Outdoor Education sector. Hosted by a team of staff at UHI Perth, the colleagues from Lapland were introduced to the exceptional offerings made at four of Scotland´s premier tourism destinations.
The first stop included a tour of the nature-based activities at Gleneagles Hotel, where Director of Leisure, Colin Farndon explained the importance of having educated staff members to work within the luxury industry, where customer service and the values of Gleneagles can create a premium customer experience.
On the 24th May the UHI and Lapland UAS staff made their way to the East coast, where we were welcomed by the Director of Human Resources at the Old Course Hotel Golf resort & Spa, St. Andrews, Janine Brown. She outlined the opportunities at the resort and raised positive feedback regarding the development of such a network that would include the movement of staff within the luxury sector. With a high retention rate at the hotel, it is clear that staff value and happiness were at the heart of this organisation and can be considered a key learning opportunity for other partners to the network.
Fonab Castle Hotel & Woodland Spa set in the heart of Scotland on the outskirts of Pitlochry provided a scenic escape for tourists looking to experience rural Scotland. Hotel General Manager, Andrew Cook took time out of schedule to introduce the hotel and also the difficulties of the staffing crisis after the pandemic, he also introduced the measures taken by his hotel to retain and attract new staff and to ensure the region prospers together.
Finally, the Willowgate Outdoor centre provided a great overview of their activities down by the river in the city of Perth. Providing students with an ideal setting to learn essential skills such as kayak, SUP, and water-based safety essentials.
Senior lecturer Tommi Haapakangas was invited to take part in the Outdoor Education student´s outdoor residence in the North of Scotland. During this time, he assisted UHI Perth staff with delivering a set outdoor adventure activities that harnessed Scotland´s extreme environments. The aim is in the future that we can invite UHI students to Lapland and likewise Lapland UAS students to Scotland.
This exciting opportunity between both institutions will look to establish a Luxury Tourism and Outdoor Education graduate/internship programme, where an educated workforce is developed to support the local tourism industry with not only skilled but educated employees. With the partnership network under construction, Lapland UAS will provide students from both universities exciting opportunities that will not only allow them to experience tourism at the highest levels, but to experience international work cultures and develop their communication skills.
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