Denis Pisarenco, Food and Beverage Apprentice - Macdonald Aviemore Resort

Tuesday, 6th March 2018

The hospitality sector in the Scottish Highlands is booming. There’s never been a better time to work in the region’s hospitality industry as tourists continue to be attracted by the beautiful scenery and friendly welcome.

For young people, the opportunities are varied, and interesting – and there’s real chance of progression.

One young person benefitting is 18-year-old Denis Pisarenco, a food and beverage apprentice with Macdonald Aviemore Resort. Denis’s hard work has recently seen him appointed supervisor, giving him management experience at a young age.

Since beginning his 12- month apprenticeship, Denis has honed his hospitality skills working across a number of different outlets within the resort, enjoying time with Costa Coffee, Giovanni’s, Scottish Steak Club and Aspects.

A typical day for Denis varies: “Usually, I’ll start the day by helping the team get ready for service by holding a team briefing to prepare for the day ahead. During the day, I’ll get to know the guests arriving – it’s really important to interact with the people staying at the Resort to make sure their stay is perfect.

“I’ll also carry out training for the team, in areas including coffee and cocktail making!”

Denis enjoys the social side of his role, and has formed valuable friendships with his colleagues. The people he meets are one of best parts of his job.

Macdonald Aviemore Resort has supported Denis in achieving professionally-recognised training, including the Ready for Work SVQ2 and SVQ3, Health and Safety Training and Service Excellence Training, as well as providing on-the-job training from supervisors and restaurant managers.

And Denis’s career advice? “Hard work pays off. I started pouring coffee and I’m now a supervisor at 18!”

Angela McLean, the resort’s people development manager said: “The hospitality industry is unique in terms of the breadth of opportunities afforded to young people, regardless of their background. Wherever possible, we believe that you should always recruit for attitude and train for skill, which is why we have a long-standing policy of hiring from a variety of different levels of education and skill sets.

“There is a strong emphasis placed on developing transferrable skills within the various entry-level roles in our business, which have been proven to stand young people in good stead whether they choose to remain in hospitality or pursue another career path.”