PUPILS from Peebles High have proven to be a hit when it comes to hospitality.

Senior students have been swapping their iPads for pans and polish as well as pampering guests over the past five weeks.

The pioneering project, which was devised by Developing Young Workforce Borders, saw a dozen pupils take over the luxurious Cringletie House Hotel each Tuesday.

As well as learning the finer points of fine cuisine in the kitchen, the teenagers were tutored in restaurant etiquette and reception skills, and even rolled their sleeves up to tackle housekeeping.

On Tuesday they were able to showcase all they had learned by hosting parents, teachers and a few guests.

Jeremy Osborne, General Manager of Cringletie, told us: "It was a great feeling to know that we have introduced a group of young people to see and feel the opportunities that hospitality offers, and just maybe make a real difference to them and the future of hospitality.”

The hotel project has been hailed as a huge success by the pupils as well as organisers and teachers.

And several of the students have already secured further work experience places later this spring.

Sara Ward, DYW Borders Programme Manager, said: "This initiative has showcased the many opportunities that are available within the hospitality, travel and tourism sector.

"The project has been a huge success with full numbers attending and learning new skills each week.

"This will give the pupils the confidence and ability to prepare them for making the transition into the world of work.”

Tourism and hospitality is one of the region's main employment sectors.

And finding well-trained and motivated staff can often be a problem for bosses.

But projects like the Cringletie experience will make sure there is a stream of confident chefs, receptionists and housekeepers for years to come.

Third-year pupil Charlotte Maslin admits the five-week course has given her a taste for working in hotels. She said: "I was scared and intimidated on the first week when driving up to this huge hotel and didn’t know what was all going to happen.

"It turned out to be very exciting and interesting and I want to do this again.

"It has improved my confidence and my social skills in and out of school.

"The favourite part was working in the kitchen and a career in hospitality is something that I would now like to look into.”

Charlotte's dad, Tony, was just as enthusiastic.

He said: "This has been an excellent, innovative project and when Charlotte first told me about it, I was very excited she had been selected to go along.

"Charlotte has felt a real sense of responsibility over the last five weeks, picking up skills and learning in the work place instead of the classroom.

"I think the initiative to focus on getting into the workplace has really helped her confidence and skillset.”

Kirsty Williams, who is a pastoral teacher of health and well-being at Peebles High, believes the hotel experience was ideal as an introduction to the workplace.

She told us: "This has been a fantastic experience which has allowed the pupils to engage with the skills required for the world of work.

"Their confidence, personal motivation and presentation have really grown over the last five weeks.

"The pupils now feel more equipped to go into work or future training.”