Refugee and asylum seekers group graduate from Diageo's Learning for Life programme

Minister David Stanton recognised the trailblazing graduates in first programme of its kind in Ireland


Minister David Stanton and group

On Thursday June 14, Minister of State for Equality, Immigration and Integration Mr David Stanton TD, presented 22 participants of the Diageo Learning for Life Programme with certificates in a special graduation ceremony which took place in the Guinness Storehouse. This is the first time that refugee and asylum seekers in Ireland have been provided with specific hospitality training for the Irish jobs market, which leads to a City and Guilds qualification. It is also the first initiative of its type in Diageo. 

Since 2008, the Diageo Learning for Life programme has given promising talent around the world the opportunity to reach their full potential and enhance their employment opportunities through training and education in the hospitality industry. Over 123,000 young people have participated in Learning for Life since 2008.

This pilot programme was run to provide specific skills to some asylum seekers who may be able to take up a new right to work. Legislation in this area is expected to be enacted at the end of June. The group who have completed this programme this year were all from the Mosney Accomodation Centre in County Meath. Their countries of origin were Albania, Algeria, Angola, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

Learning for Life graduates

“The graduates today are without doubt the most engaged group of learners that have passed through Diageo’s Learning for Life programme in Ireland. They are trailblazers in that they are the first such group in Ireland to come through this kind of programme. This is a great example of how the business community can contribute with very positive results. It’s a win win for everybody.”

David Stanton

Minister of State

“Diageo works in many countries throughout the world and with people from many diverse backgrounds. It is core to our ethos that we help people, of all races, beliefs and backgrounds, to make the best of themselves. This is the first corporate partnership in this area with the Irish Government and follows the Supreme Court decision that allows refugees work in Ireland while waiting for their application to be processed. ”

Oliver Loomes

Diageo Ireland Country Director

“The Learning for Life Programme has been very helpful. It has empowered me and given me skills to use in the hospitality industry. I have learned a lot that I will use if I manage to get into the hospitality industry. When I completed the training I did a placement in Café en Seine in Dublin for three weeks in the front of house doing Barista so I have managed to perfect myself as a barista.”

Alco Sihgo

Diageo Learning for Life programme graduate