A week in the life of a Hospitality and Adventure Tourism Apprentice

Our Heritage Skills project seeks to engage and support Callander’s young people through training and apprenticeship opportunities.

Unfortunately, our modern apprenticeships have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. But we thought it would be nice to look back to pre-lockdown days and get a glimpse of normality in these unusual times.

Jack started his Hospitality and Adventure Tourism apprenticeship in August 2019. We asked him to give us a walk though of a normal week as an apprentice with our partner, the Callander Youth Project Trust.

Here’s what he told us about the first week of March 2020…


My week starts with a shift in the hostel where my first duty is to depart any beds in our dormitories or private rooms after a guest has checked out. After finishing in the rooms upstairs, I then work with my colleague Cameron to complete the cleaning jobs in the kitchen and social areas, such as hoovering, mopping and emptying bins. I finish my shift satisfied, knowing the hostel is sparkling clean and the rooms are looking nice, ready for guests arriving.

Jack and the youth club at Coilhallan Woods.

Youth club trip to Coilhallan Woods.

I start my shift at 14:30 in time to help run our weekly Junior Youth Club. This week myself and Youth Worker Alasdair take members up to Coilhallan Woods. We spend time exploring and collecting materials to use in building a bug hostel as part of our garden renovation project. It’s great to see the youngsters having fun in the outdoors, and the activity also counts towards my John Muir Award, an initiative encouraging people to connect, enjoy and care for wild places. After another exciting week at Youth Club, we set up for the ‘Callander 2020 and Beyond’ event hosted by InCallander. This was a great night, learning more about local organisations and sharing some of the projects that CYP are involved with.

Jack on the climbing wall at Ratho

On the climbing wall.

Normally I work five days a week, but today I am working a longer shift which allowed me to take yesterday off. To start the day, myself and fellow Modern Apprentice Hugh join the outdoor team from Active Stirling for a staff development canoeing session. We drive up to Strathyre and paddle downstream into Loch Lubnaig. With the surrounding snow-capped hills, it makes for a stunning setting. It is my first experience of canoeing, but I love learning the basic manoeuvres and thankfully I don’t capsize!

The pair of us then head through to Edinburgh for the evening to take part in an introductory course at Ratho Climbing Centre – the World’s largest indoor climbing arena! We both successfully pass the course, learning the technique of belaying and trying not to look down! The course is thoroughly enjoyable and now means we are registered competent climbers. This will allow us to climb any wall in Scotland and share our new found knowledge with beginners, which is a great skill to have.


To finish my busy week of activities, I attend the first day of the 1.2 coaching children course run by the Scottish Football Association at Forthbank, Stirling. The instructors demonstrate examples of fun games to use when coaching football to youngsters, but the games we learn are transferable to any sport. This will be very useful for implementing new ideas to our Youth Club attendees.

My working week draws to a close after a fun-filled, action-packed few days of activities and training courses. I have the weekend off to rest up and reflect on a busy week where I had great fun gaining new experiences and new qualifications.

As a final question for Jack, we asked him about the high point of his apprenticeship in its first seven months.

It is impossible to just choose one high point as I have had so many enjoyable moments. But the opportunities that the Apprenticeship offers to gain new experiences and qualifications is fantastic. Some of the qualifications I have achieved so far include Outdoor First Aid, Alcohol Personal Licence and Coffee Barista training. All the training courses the Apprenticeship offers enable me to perform my role to a high standard and equip me with lifelong skills while having a lot of fun along the way!

If you’d like to find out about training opportunities for young people in and around Callander get in touch with the Callander Youth Project. Their services have been reduced and changed in the current situation but they are still available to provide help and advice.