A world famous golf club is aiming to lead the field by becoming the first business of its kind in Scotland to secure a prestigious accolade for working with young people.
The Royal Dornoch Golf Club is seeking to achieve Investors in Young People (IIYP) accreditation as a way of developing young members of staff and continue its strategy for excellence on and off the course.
Royal Dornoch recently passed an Investors in People assessment and has now decided to pursue the new IIYP award, launched by the Scottish Government earlier this year as part of a flagship policy to reward and recognise employers who employ people aged between 16 and 24.
The club, which is part of the Highland Golf Links (HGL) partnership, is committed to providing employment to local youngsters who work in all sections of the operation, from green staff and caddie team, to the pro shop and the clubhouse kitchen and front of house.
This year the club employed over 50 full-time, part-time and seasonal staff, with young people making up almost half the total.
Neil Hampton, Royal Dornoch’s General Manager, said: “Having IIP accreditation means a great deal to the club as we recognise that our staff are the biggest asset and make the Royal Dornoch experience what it is.
“Looking after the staff and ensuring that they are all involved in the growth of the club will ensure that we continue to be recognised as one of the best golfing locations in the world.
“Seeking IIYP is an extension of that process. Young people can sometimes feel lost or intimidated when moving into the working environment, so showing them how important they are to us will help them settle in as well as helping them to understand what Royal Dornoch does.
“When recruiting, we always approach our local school first and look to offer the positions to local people, while also encouraging work experience placements.
“I am trying to build closer links to the schools so that they know more about us and we can tap into their abilities.”
Since IIYP was launched in July, 34 firms have achieved accreditation and about 150 hope to secure the award by March, but Royal Dornoch is the first golf club to seek accreditation.
The IIYP assessment includes examining a firm’s future business needs, including skills, talent and expertise levels, its capacity to deliver on that need and whether this could be best served through the recruitment and retention of young people.
Peter Russian, Chief Executive of Investors in People Scotland, said: “The Investors in Young People framework not only recognises and supports organisations in the employment of young people, but marks them out as an employer of choice.
“The benefits of recruiting and developing young people are countless. These include the creation of a talent pool for the future, new and increased skills in areas such as IT and social media, fresh eyes and mind-sets into business operations along with enthusiasm and unique talents.
“I wish Royal Dornoch Golf Club the best of luck as it works towards achieving the IIYP award.”
Historic Royal Dornoch Golf Club is preparing to mark 400 years of the game being played on the town’s links in 2016.
Last month it was a finalist in the inaugural Scottish Golf Tourism Awards, having been shortlisted in four categories – Scotland’s Best Golf Experience, Best Catering, Best Course over £50 and Best Value for Money over £50.
Royal Dornoch’s Championship Course has been voted the 6th best golf course in the world by leading magazine Golf Digest. It has hosted a number of leading events, including the Senior Ladies British Open Amateur Championship in September.
Highland Golf Links also includes Castle Stuart Golf Links and The Nairn Golf Club, as well as the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House Hotel, Inverness; the Royal Golf Hotel in Dornoch and the Golf View Hotel & Spa in Nairn. HGL promotes Play and Stay destination breaks in the region for golfers.
Highland Golf Links www.highlandgolflinks.com
Royal Dornoch Golf Club www.royaldornoch.com