Our Heritage Skills project primarily aims to engage and support young people through training and apprenticeship opportunities. Across the three years of the project a number of Modern Apprentices will be recruited, creating a network of young people working together for Callander.

Currently we have 4 young people in post; two working in Hospitality and Adventure Tourism and two working in Cultural and Natural Heritage. All of our apprentices are hosted by Callander’s Landscape partner Callander Youth Project

Hugh started in August and we asked him to share his experiences as a Hospitality and Adventure Tourism Modern Apprentice so far. 

I was attracted to this modern apprenticeship as it offered many opportunities to do outdoor activities, such as canoeing, which is something that I hope to be able to coach in the future as a career. This apprenticeship has been putting me on several courses so that by the end of my time here I will be a qualified coach in canoeing.

Since I started in August I have been doing various jobs around the hostel from receptionist to room cleaner to bartender. I have also been doing several courses. I have completed Foundation Safety and Rescue training at Loch Venachar which taught me how to rescue people in several different paddle boats, a skill I need to be able to teach others. I also did a mountain skills course in Aviemore at Glenmore Lodge which taught me how to navigate in various weather conditions, as well as learning about pacing, a useful skill to have in bad weather conditions as it can help you stay on track. I was also fortunate enough to have good weather during my time there, as I was able to go up to the top of Cairn Gorm mountain itself, as well as various other mountains in the Cairngorms.

Recently I have also been on a outdoor first aid course which was very informative and taught me what to do in different situations, such as what you do with a fracture in someone’s leg when you are in the hills and there is no way for an ambulance to reach you. The course also corrected some things that I may have done that would not have been the right thing to do in certain scenarios. I also attended a Dark Skies training evening with some Callander’s Landscape volunteers so we can help measure the darkness of the night sky in the area, and this event taught me about space and different constellations, such as Orion’s Belt.

To be entirely honest I have enjoyed all of my time here so far as the staff are kind and helpful and the courses are informative and fantastic. For next year I am looking forward to more of the same and hopefully I will be able to coach canoeing and perhaps other outdoor activities by the time I finish my modern apprenticeship. Three words that I would use to describe working here would have to be entertaining, informative and interesting.