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Caribbean Hospitality Professionals to benefit from training provided by WIRSPA/WSET Partnership

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Mixologists, bartenders and other hospitality professionals in the Caribbean who have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic are to benefit from a partnership between the West Indies Rum & Spirits Producers’ Association (WIRSPA) and the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

WIRSPA - which represents distillers’ associations across the Caribbean - has come together with WSET to offer at least 200 Level 1 Award in Spirits online courses to Caribbean hospitality professionals, giving them the opportunity to increase their industry knowledge and skills while they are unable to work.

Beverage alcohol and other hospitality professionals over the age of 18 will be eligible for the course with individual distillers’ associations selecting the most deserving candidates in their market. The Level 1 Award in Spirits course will start on 27th July and run for four weeks. At the end of the course, students will take a remotely invigilated online exam, and those who are successful will receive a certificate and WSET lapel pin. WIRSPA’s membership of Caribbean-based distilleries will provide additional support during the course, running tasting sessions and webinars on their brands and products as a supplement to WSET course material.

Deniece Bourne, WSET Business Development Manager - Americas East & The Caribbean, comments, “Tourism is a major industry across the Caribbean and, in these challenging times, we are committed to offering our support to displaced hospitality professionals. We are delighted to partner with WIRSPA for this initiative which aims to empower participants through education and a qualification that will help them in their careers, both practically and professionally, once they are able to return to work.

Komal Samaroo, WIRSPA chairman said, “WSET is an internationally recognised provider of education, and this initiative is making available to our hospitality professionals, a world-class qualification in spirits. This certification will provide them with important new skills and enhance their employment prospects.

Vaughn Renwick, WIRSPA CEO said, “Beverage service professionals – mixologists, bartenders, bar managers and other hospitality industry professionals - have been on the sharp edge of the lockdown, with many giving up all income as the industry was shut down and only now slowly opening. This is our way of supporting this important sector and providing individuals with additional skills in anticipation of full re-employment.

Caribbean-based organisations interested in contributing to this initiative can contact WSET’s Deniece Bourne or Vaughn Renwick at WIRSPA for more information.