WSET looks to fill business 'skills gap'

Introduction of new course should help many further careers in wine industry

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is offering a Business & Commercial Knowledge course from next year.

The new course begins in the spring and will feature sessions conducted by "nearly 20 of the best-known figures in the UK wine industry", according to chief executive Ian Harris.

"The course will impart the insight and knowledge to enable delegates to influence their businesses, with the goal of making their companies, and themselves, more successful in the UK wine industry," he added.

The WSET believes there is a "skills gap" for people trying to develop careers in the wine industry.

"Some people working in the sector have a strong FMCG background, many have little understanding of the peculiarities of the wine business," said Harris.

"Others have strong wine knowledge - with or without WSET qualifications - but relatively undeveloped business skills.

"There is a need to increase the general level of business-related skills in the sector."

In a separate initiative, the WSET is launching a

Three Minute Wine School , designed to develop consumers' understanding of wines in brief snap shot videos.

These will be available not only on the WSET website, but

also offered free of charge to key players in all sectors of the UK wine industry.

Each of the sessions is presented by "a very well-known figure in the wine world" and covers subject matter including

regions, countries and grape varieties.

Harris said the programme was designed to offer impartial advice with the aim of encouraging consumers to trade up.