West Lothian Hospitality Training Company The Larder Wins Living Wage Award
A Livingston-based social enterprise that provides training for young people for careers in the hospitality industry has won Newcomer of the Year at the Living Wage Scotland Awards.
The Bellsquarry-based Larder has delivered more than 120,000 meals to people in need across West Lothian during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was founded in 2010 and registered as a charity in 2011, by Angela Moohan, who wanted to tackle rising youth unemployment in the county.
Its unique selling point is to use food as a catalyst for social change. Work focuses on offering a wide range of vocational training for employment in the restaurant and hospitality industry and is aimed at young people who have had difficulty accessing work due to multiple and complex obstacles.
They may need to gain experience in a work environment, acquire formal qualifications or, they may need training or assistance in professional skills such as resume writing or interview techniques.
The Larder offers training on employability, life skills, health and well-being, while learning to cook. The café offers interns a space to gain work experience in the industry as well as a place for social and community interaction.
The Newcomer in the Living Wage Awards category was open to employers who have become accredited since December 2019 and recognizes an employer who has done something that stands out to celebrate their accreditation, who promoted True Living Wage, or who contributed to ‘other ways to support the movement.
The Larder’s Living Wage commitment provides that everyone receives a minimum hourly wage of £ 9.90 in the UK. The rate is significantly higher than the government minimum for those over 23, which currently stands at £ 8.91 per hour.
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As part of their commitment to a living wage, the entire staff of The Larder received a salary increase, which amounted on average to 16% in the entire organization. With almost a third of the young staff of The Larder compound and adults facing multiple barriers and complex social enterprise believes it is important that they receive a fair wage to support their course life and beyond.
The jury was impressed with the range of actions taken by The Larder to promote its accreditation, including producing a video and encouraging other employers to seek accreditation.
Angela Moohan said: “The implementation of the living wage has been an aspiration of our organization for many years. We are extremely proud to have joined the Living Wage movement and are delighted to share our journey with others.
“We encourage our fellow employers to do the same to help create more dignified, supportive and respectful workplaces across Scotland. “