Two hoteliers from north west Sutherland are investing heavily in developing the skills of their workforce in a bid to grow their tourism business.
Directors of the Kylesku Hotel Ltd Tanja Lister and Sonia Virechauveix are behind plans to create a new level of supervisory support and provide training to staff who will pass their knowledge and skills on to others at the award-winning wilderness hotel.
Support of £7,580 is being provided by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) towards the training costs at the hotel which is an ideal base for a range of outdoor activities including sea kayaking, windsurfing, wildlife watching, hill walking and fishing.
Following a major £850,000 refurbishment and extension in 2014/15 the hotel has become a destination of choice for guests and is increasingly recognised for its fresh, high quality and locally produced food.
Director Tanja Lister said: “It is very important the skills of our staff meet the expectations of guests and complement the overall quality of the upgraded hotel. Developing the leadership and management skills of two newly created, duty management posts will allow us as directors to devote more time to grow the business strategically.
“The improvements made to the hotel’s facilities and our investment in workforce skills over the years means several core staff are now retained on permanent contracts. This enables them to achieve greater job security and to permanently relocate to Kylesku.”
Overall, the training being delivered will benefit staff with increased wage rates, higher job satisfaction and better career prospects in the longer term.
Senior development manager at HIE, Hilary Budge said: “A Skills for Growth review was funded by Skills Development Scotland which helped the directors identify training and development requirements across the business. Due to the hotel’s location, training is being carried out on-site which reduces staff travel time and maximises its relevance and overall impact.
“Creating a better skilled and more secure workforce in a fragile area like Kylesku where alternative job opportunities are scarce helps substantially improve the social and economic benefits of people living there.”