Gleneagles Townhouse

Meet the Apprentices

26 May 2022
Apprentice group shot feb 2022 intake

We were delighted to welcome 12 young apprentices to our Gleneagles family recently to start their career journeys within our hotel operations, culinary and greenkeeping teams. As they learn the ropes inside one of the world’s most iconic hotels – developing their skills, gaining industry qualifications, making new friends and having lots of fun along the way – we caught up with them to discover what they’ve been doing during their first few weeks and what their ambitions are for the future!

What were you were you doing before you joined and why did you apply for the Gleneagles Apprenticeship Programme?


I left school after 5th year and got a job at a kennels and cattery.  I was there for seven years, working my way up to the role of supervisor. Animals are a passion of mine so I enjoyed the job, but I also love people and I realised moving into a guest-facing environment would help me develop customer service skills and give me far better long-term career prospects.


At a young age, I worked as a part-time kitchen porter and took an interest in helping the chefs prepare the food. After school, I began studying sports science at university.  My modules included nutrition and dietetics, which fuelled my interest in cooking and food even further.  I knew the programme would provide me with the best opportunity for a culinary career, because it involves hands-on learning with some of the best chefs in the industry rather than just pure theory.


I joined the Gleneagles team straight from school as a seasonal greenkeeper. I didn’t want to work behind a desk and I thought working outdoors would be something I’d enjoy. I was right – I absolutely loved it straight away. I enjoyed the wide range of tasks, working with great people and learning new things every day.  I knew then that I wanted to make a career out of it, so I applied for the programme to continue building my skills and gain qualifications at the same time.

Tegan Howett- hotel operations apprentice 2 (1)
Warren Finnigan - greenkeeping apprentice (1)

What kind of support do you receive on the programme?


I had no professional kitchen experience, so it felt a bit daunting at first.  I felt as though I was asking stupid questions all the time, but I’ve learnt that that no question is stupid; everyone has to learn.  If I’m struggling with a new skill, the other chefs are always happy to help me.  There’s never any judgement or frustration which makes it a very safe and supportive environment for a chef just starting out.  You’re learning from the very best!


I appreciate how much Gleneagles invests into each person’s training and development – there’s a huge amount of support, staff are recognised for their efforts and talents, and everyone is encouraged to progress and achieve success. The best part of hospitality for me is the bond that exists between the staff – the feeling that we’re all in this together.  Every single person is contributing to our guests’ enjoyment and there’s a shared feeling of pride in that.


When I first joined the team, I got buddied up with a senior greenkeeper, and to begin with I was shadowing them and learning from them. It was an absolutely fantastic way to settle into the team and learn the ropes. As apprentices, we get looked after so well. Before you join your department, you have a superb onboarding experience to get you into the right mindset for work, help you develop team skills and allow you to get to know the other apprentices. You also get to experience the hotel as a guest, which is the ideal way to learn how to deliver that experience yourself.

Cameron Lochrie - hotel operations apprentice 2 (1) (1) (1) (3)
Hannah Kirkham - Culinary apprentice

What’s it like working at Gleneagles?


I love it. The kitchen is hard work, but also lots of fun. You’ve prepped all day, you’ve got everything set out and ready for service and then the first guests arrive and there’s check after check throughout the evening – there’s no waiting around. I thrive under pressure like that because it gives me an adrenaline rush.  Everyone is working together to give the guests a great night. It’s an amazing feeling.


In a five-star environment, you’re working to the highest possible standards and with the greatest attention to detail – for example the way a face cloth is folded and presented in a bathroom, or the way a newspaper is placed on a coffee table – and if you don’t have that commitment to high standards, it would really show.  If you give each task your very best effort you’ll go far. There have been days where I can’t believe I’m actually being paid to work because it doesn’t feel like work; I just feel so at home.


I enjoy the one team ethos at Gleneagles. You’re never competing against other departments or individuals; we’re all here chasing the same vision, working together to deliver an outstanding guest experience. Within our team, there’s a massive wealth of knowledge, with greenkeepers from all over world.  Every day, I’m learning something new from them which I love.

Samuel Findlay - greenkeeping apprentice (1)
Scott Logan - Culinary apprentice (1)

What makes Gleneagles so special?


Spending the whole day outdoors with the wildlife is amazing and watching the sunrise each morning is a great way to start your day.  Spending time in nature has actually changed me as a person! I’ve developed a passion for it.  Gleneagles is a big name, so there’s a high value attached to training as a greenkeeper here.  You’re learning from the very best so, if you can master the job here, it will set you up for success for the rest of your career.


As a local boy, I grew up attending the big golf events held at Gleneagles – from the Johnnie Walker Championship and the Ryder Cup to the Solheim Cup – watching the world’s biggest players.  I thought to myself, I want to be a part of the team that’s able to deliver that.  What sets Gleneagles apart from the competition is the attention to detail and the drive to deliver the best.  There’s so much pride and passion that each tiny detail is picked up. During tournament weeks, we’re mowing the greens up to eight times a day – you just don’t get that level of dedication elsewhere.


It’s a really beautiful place that has so much to offer, not just for guests, but also for staff.  The five-star, luxury service setting really appeals to me because we’re always striving to go above and beyond to create something special. I love that everything’s got to be perfect. People come here for all kinds of milestones and, whether it’s a birthday, a wedding anniversary or an engagement, we personalise their experience as much as possible.  It’s all about making each guest’s visit the best it can possibly be and creating happiness every day.


What’s been your biggest learning curve so far?


Since starting, I’ve developed lots of new skills and have enjoyed applying them to the highest possible standards, but I’ve also developed as a person too. Before, I was used to being told what to do and carrying that out to the letter, no more or no less. At Gleneagles, the support is there if I need it, but I’m encouraged to problem solve myself, to employ my common sense and to pre-empt obstacles and challenges before they happen.


I’m currently working in housekeeping, which is much more complicated and high-pressured than I could have imagined. When I started, I didn’t have any experience, so I felt like I had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve grown in self-confidence and self-belief.  I’ve learnt that when you throw yourself into anything and work hard, eventually you get to the stage where it feels natural. It gives me pleasure and pride to think that the work I do is helping to ensure people have a great stay.


As soon as I started, I made a conscious effort to discard all the culinary knowledge I had picked up in the past because I knew I’d learn it better here from some of the best chefs in the country.  These first few weeks, I’ve been learning a lot about speed, efficiency, time management and cooking techniques.  But working with chefs who are more knowledgeable and experienced than I am reminds me there’s still so much to learn and gives me the motivation to continue improving.

Scott Campbell- greenkeeping apprentice 2 (1)
Reece Dodds - hotel operations apprentice (1) (1)

What’s been your favourite part?


Gleneagles is an awe-inspiring place with an amazing history and I fell in love with it straight away. No matter what time of day it is, and even if it’s pouring with rain, it always looks beautiful. It’s amazing that one of the perks of working here is getting to enjoy all the experiences – the bars, restaurants, overnight stays, country pursuits and activities – ourselves at a big discount.


Gleneagles offers a different-level experience.  It’s luxury at its best. As part of our onboarding experience, we spent a night as guests at the hotel.  I felt like I was walking into a different world and it blew my mind watching everyone in the hotel working together to maintain that great experience for the guests.  In seeing first-hand what that experience is like and how it’s delivered, it helped all of us understand what’s expected of us.


Like any career, to get the most of training as a greenkeeper, you’ve got to put the effort in but the rewards are worth it.  It gives you a sense of pride to know the work you’re doing each day is helping golfers to have a fantastic time.  But it’s not just the amateur golfers; Gleneagles is also an elite tournament venue – this year we’re hosting the Men’s Senior Open – which means we’re preparing the courses for some of the best sports people in the world. There’s a huge sense of achievement and excitement that comes with that.

Max Maxwell - Culinary Apprentice further away (1)
Lindsay MacArthur- hotel operations apprentice further back (1)

What are your plans for the future?


My long-term ambition is to become a chef on a super yacht.  On a yacht, you need to be able to cook anything – from fine dining to snacks – and that’s why the apprenticeship’s rotation format around the different restaurants is so appealing to me. You’re not just learning about one style of cooking but being trained across a range of cuisines.  You don’t get that variety elsewhere.


I’m excited about progressing on my journey at the hotel, building my skills here, and having the chance to gain experience across many other departments, including Leisure where I can’t wait to be working outdoors.  Longer-term, I’d like to steadily work my way up the hospitality ladder, travel the world and see where it takes me!


I’ve found my niche in this industry.  A hospitality career can take you all over the world, discovering new cultures and learning how businesses are run overseas. Once you’ve developed the right knowledge, experience and know-how, especially in a five-star environment like Gleneagles, you’ll be able to enter any bar, hotel or service environment seamlessly anywhere in the world.

Applications are now open for our next intake of culinary apprentices. Check out the role profile for more details, or contact our Talent Attraction team at to arrange an informal chat.

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