Youth employment group, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) has added a fresh face to its board to help in its goal of boosting skills in the Inverness and Central Highland region.  And that face is our very own Kenneth Loades!

Having worked for CRU Holdings for over a decade, Ken is hoping to make some valuable contributions to the group with his experience in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries.

A recent drive to engage and inform more young people about the nuances of our industries and sectors, prompted the DYW to reach out to Ken, and appoint him onto the board. The focus of this drive is to get more young Highlanders to consider a career in one of the regions most varied, successful and robust industries, and just as importantly, to help equip them with the skills they would need to succeed.

The food and drink sector alone is worth £14 billion to the Scottish economy and DYW is keen to make sure the region is protected from a potential skills shortage.

Ken commented: “The industry has been very good to me. I started as a kitchen porter and worked my way through the ranks. This gave me a solid grounding and a good understanding of the hospitality industry. The biggest opportunity I see is with young people. In my new role, I will be lucky enough to be in the position to encourage young people to choose hospitality as a career and open their minds to the wealth of different jobs and experiences available.”

DYW programme manager Andy Maxtone said: “Hospitality is a big part of our strategy for this year and we are looking forward to Ken providing additional oversight and guidance.”

We wish Ken all the best with this recent philanthropic endeavour, and are excited by the prospect of it benefiting not just the individuals involved, but the industry as a whole!