THE old adage about policemen getting younger didn't used to apply to hotel staff.

But anyone visiting Cringletie House Hotel on a Tuesday morning can now be forgiven for feeling that little bit older.

A pioneering project between Peebles High School's home economics department and the boutique hotel near Eddleston is allowing third-year pupils take over the kitchen, restaurant, offices and bedrooms.

Initiated by Developing the Young Workforce Borders, it is hoped the five-week-long placement will inspire many into the hospitality and tourism industry.

Sara Ward, project manager at DYW Borders, told us: "This initiative will showcase the many opportunities that are available within the hospitality, travel and tourism sector.

"Tourism is one of the largest growth sectors in the Scottish Borders and pupils will be given the opportunity to develop many transferable skills which in turn can prepare them for making the transition to world of work."

The project has been devised as a direct reaction to an unexpected shortfall in hospitality workers from overseas following Brexit.

And it is hoped the scheme will also raise the profile of Cringletie as a possible place of employment for local school-leavers.

Throughout February and into March, pupils will spend every Tuesday morning shadowing staff.

And on their final morning the pupils will operate the hotel and serve up lunch for invited guests, including parents, local business and friends.

Jeremy Osborne, general manager at Cringletie, said: “The Cringletie team had a brilliant response from the pupils and over the next few weeks it will only go from strength to strength.

"This has to be the way forward to encourage young people in to hospitality and show it is a job that is fun, skilful and there always be one for those who want to get on in life.”

Although the pilot project has just started this week, home economics teacher Kirsty Williams is delighted with the experience her pupils are enjoying.

She said: "We would like to thank Cringletie for affording our students this fabulous opportunity at a time when they are making important decisions about their futures.

"This programme has opened their eyes to the diverse range of career paths available within Hospitality and has enhanced their learning tremendously."