Glasgow Kelvin College welcomed Ms Aradhana Lal, Vice President - Brand, Communications & Sustainability Initiatives at Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd., who was invited to speak at this year’s Scottish Tourism Conference on the Lemon Tree Hotels diversity experience.
Lemon Tree is India’s third largest hotel chain operating 80 hotels in 48 destinations with 8,000 rooms and over 8,000 employees. The hotel group is a global leader in the training and employment of people with additional support needs.
A long-time international partner of the College, Aradhana Lal contributed her knowledge and experience to a pilot training programme, funded by UKIERI, to be run by Glasgow Kelvin College which will use the Lemon Tree Hotels inclusion initiative as a model of best practice. The initiative provides paid training and employment opportunities in the hospitality sector for people with additional support needs.
At the conference, she outlined the benefits of this model to the employer organisation, the trainees, other employees and to society as a whole.
This inclusive model of best practice has already garnered interest from the Scottish Government through visits of John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills to see the Lemon Tree Hotels model in action whilst he was in India last year. The model aligns directly with the ambition for ‘inclusive growth’ in the economy where vulnerable people are supported to fulfil their potential.
Jamie Hepburn MSP also welcomed Lemon Tree Hotels and Aradhana Lal to Scotland last year, supporting the aims of the pilot programme. He visited the College’s Springburn Campus recently to meet some of the students with additional support needs.
Key to the success of the initiative is the commitment of employers in the Scottish hospitality industry to employ and support trainees, gaining a diverse and skilled workforce.
Alastair McGhee, Director of Business Development at Glasgow Kelvin College, said;
“Glasgow Kelvin College is working with partners to develop a new, accredited work-based learning programme for employees with additional support needs which replicates much of the Lemon Tree Hotels model.
This exciting initiative has attracted the support of Scotland’s First Minister, Deputy First Minister and the Minister for Fair Work, Education and Skills and is proving to be a successful business model.
The College is eager to work with employers, in the hospitality sector and elsewhere, to meet demand and help develop the accreditation framework for training and skills around this exciting initiative.”
Glasgow Kelvin College was thrilled to host Aradhana Lal’s visit and looks forward to meeting further with her in the future. She said;
“Lemon Tree is delighted to be working with Glasgow Kelvin College in this international partnership. The focus is to develop opportunities for people with additional support needs by creating access to accredited work based training and sustainable employment. This is at the core of Lemon Tree’s inclusion ethos across its 80 hotels, (mostly) in India. We are happy to share our experience with our Scottish partners and build a shared understanding through dialogue and brainstorming.”
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon is pictured here discussing the trailblazing initiative with Aradhana Lal of Lemon Tree Hotels and Claire Walters of Glasgow Kelvin College at the Scottish Tourism Conference 2020.
More information is available from Alastair McGhee, Director of Business Development – firstname.lastname@example.org