Apprentices - you're hired

11 January, 2008

Liberty Wines has made its first two appointments under its innovative apprenticeship scheme.

Michelle Lawlor and Nicola Cornelius were selected from more than 50 applicants to undertake the intensive 22-month training programme at the wine importer, launched in partnership with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust.

The aim of the programme is to provide successful candidates with

wide-ranging training in all facets of the

industry.

Liberty Wines managing director David Gleave MW said the company was "pleasantly surprised to find not just one but two candidates who offered a mix of experience and potential".

The pair will work

in Liberty's customer services, marketing, shipping, warehouse and finance departments, as well as spending time with on and off-trade teams. They will also work a vintage with Liberty producers in Italy and New Zealand,

and be sponsored to study the WSET diploma.

Lawlor has

worked as beverage manager at The Forge restaurant

in central London, junior sommelier at Ely Wine Bar in Dublin and wine advis er for Oddbins.

Former corporate lawyer

Cornelius has worked for her father's wine wholesale company.

Gleave added: "We believe

both Michelle and Nicola have the potential to become first-class sales people, industry-savvy marketers or rounded back-office managers."

WSET chief executive Ian Harris said the trust shared Liberty's view that "the industry needs not only the high quality product knowledge that the WSET can offer, but also the practical hands-on training which the apprentices will receive from David and his team".




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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