Reach for the Stars

In 2013 and 2014 we were part of the public-private-third sector partnership project which enabled unemployed people to move into and sustain jobs in the tourism and hospitality sector.

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How it works

Reach for the Stars is an intensive two-week programme comprising sector specific competencies, awareness of the tourism and hospitality product locally, and key interpersonal skills.

Participants were referred to the programme by their Jobcentreplus advisors. After an initial information day, participants committed to an intensive two week programme, featuring certificated training specific to the tourism sector (including World Host, personal license holder, emergency first aid and manual handling), communication and team work skills and interactive visits to key visitor attractions, to meet and hear from employers.

Reach for the Stars culminates in 'speed dating' style interviews with employers, all of whom have vacancies which they find challenging to fill.

The two-week intensive programme is followed by a four week voluntary week placement with the employer of their choice, on the understanding that if it went well, there was a possibility of paid employment at the end of the programme. The placements were facilitated by the Tourism Excellence Consultancy, a highly respected local business with unrivalled sector contacts.



Reach for the Stars has produced excellent results:

  • In the 2013 programme, 13 of the 14 participants moved into employment
  • In the 2014 programme, 10 of the 13 participants moved into employment
  • Employers have found employees able to maintain their jobs and make a real contribution to their businesses
  • Jobcentreplus have seen 23 people, all of whom have been unemployed for at least 3 months and many for much longer, become employment ready and move into work


"We are so dependent on our people to deliver the guest experience and we are delighted to support what we hope will be the first of many in this new venture. This initiative is exactly what the industry needs and demonstrates that there are real opportunities for those who are willing to have a go."

Victoria Erasmus | Owner, Glen Mhor Hotel; Chair Inverness Hotels Association