Thousands of small businesses across Scotland will be able to access subsidised customer service training over the next two years following an announcement by Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP.
The £180k of funding, provided by Skills Development Scotland, will be made available through the WorldHost Regional Destination Initiative - a national campaign led by skills and workforce development charity People 1st.
The campaign aims to build on the legacy of world-class events like the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup, and transform customer service standards across Scotland’s visitor economy.
As SMEs make up 82% of Scotland’s visitor economy businesses, their contribution will be vital to achieving the campaign’s targets. Through the funding agreement, small businesses that meet the qualification criteria will be able to save £40 per person on the cost of training.
Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism Fergus Ewing MSP commented: “2014 has been a hugely successful year for Scottish tourism, with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup and Scottish Homecoming all shining the global spotlight on our fantastic country and providing a massive boost to our tourism economy.
“We need to make sure that we fully capitalise on the long term benefits these events will bring, and build a strong, consistent and high quality visitor experience that visitors will remember, and which will keep them returning to Scotland for many years to come.
Damien Yeates, chief executive of Skills Development Scotland, said: “We look forward to working with People 1st and the regional steering groups to ensure that this initiative allows businesses of all sizes to access the training and support that this programme provides.”
To be eligible for the funding, businesses must employ fewer than 100 people and operate within the visitor economy sector in one of the following regions; Aberdeen City and Shire, Caithness and Sutherland, Dundee, East Renfrewshire, Fife, Inverness and Loch Ness, Moray Speyside, Orkney, Perth and West Lothian. Full qualification criteria is available on the WorldHost website.
For tourism businesses with a food and drink offering check out the Tourism Intelligence Scotland At your service guide which offers practical information for front line staff in tourism businesses, providing:
- easy reference facts about different food types
- a visual calendar of seasonality
- background information on classic Scottish dishes and drinks
- hints and tips on how to ‘upsell’ to customers.