Borders College

Midlothian students learn how to ‘cater for life’

Borders College and Newbattle Abbey College recently worked in partnership to successfully deliver a ‘Catering for Life’ programme to members of the Midlothian community.

Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and hosted at Newbattle Abbey College, the Borders College Business Development Unit (BDU) delivered the 10 week programme in Midlothian for the first time.  The BDU has a successful track record in delivering the programme in the Scottish Borders, so the team was delighted to have been awarded funding to offer this to candidates in Midlothian.

Catering for Life students

Pictured left to right are Jack Neill, Fraser Smith, Donna Mullen, Susan Rennie, David Simpson, Hazel Stewart, and Robert Goodall.

Catering for Life encourages candidates to think about work or volunteering, assists in confidence building, and provides them with the skills to prepare for interview, as well as gain mandatory qualifications that will enhance their CVs.  Two of the candidates intend to apply for full-time Catering and Hospitality courses at Borders College as a result of this programme, with the remainder continuing to seek employment.

Susan Rennie, Business Skills Manager and mentor throughout the duration of the course, said:

“I am delighted that the course has been so successful in Midlothian.  The course is designed as a stepping stone for people trying to get into employment for the first time or for those who are wanting to re-enter the workplace following a period of time away.

“Newbattle Abbey College provided our students with a superb venue which not only added value to the delivery but also a lovely student experience to a group of people who had not engaged in learning for a long time.  The staff at Newbattle Abbey College made us and our students feel very welcome throughout the 10 week programme.”

Catherine Davidson, DWP Partnership Manager for Midlothian, who was heavily involved in the recruiting of clients onto this programme commented:

“This programme has changed the lives of the candidates who attended – some in small ways by getting them into a routine or making new friendships, and for others it has inspired them to challenge themselves and look toward further education courses or actively seek employment.  The change in confidence and wellbeing of the attendees was visible, and awarding them their certificates for their achievements on completion of the course was a terrific way to celebrate their success!”

A celebration event took place at Newbattle Abbey College campus in recognition of the group’s success, where each of the 8 candidates received a certificate in recognition of their achievements.

To find out more about the courses offered by the Borders College Business Development Unit, visit

Published: Thu 5th Jul, 2018