Sommeliers Australia has today pledged its support for the hard-hit hospitality industry by partnering with the WSET to offer Level 1 wine and spirits courses online to hospitality professionals.
With all on-trade venues being forced to close their doors due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Sommeliers Australia is setting up a Hospitality Education Grant (HEG), keeping morale high by giving hospitality staff the opportunity to increase their wine and spirits knowledge and skills while they are unable to work.
The Hospitality Education Grant enables individuals and businesses to support the hospitality industry during the current crisis. They can help fund WSET Level 1 Award in Wines or Level 1 Award in Spirits courses for eligible students through purchasing a ‘HEG ticket’ - valued at $75. Tickets are available for purchase through the Sommeliers Australia website until 12th June 2020. The number of hospitality professionals able to take up the Hospitality Education Grant will depend directly on the amount raised through ‘HEG ticket’ sales. In support of the Hospitality Education Grant, WSET will contribute complimentary access to its Online Classroom for eligible students. Courses will be facilitated by WSET’s network of courses providers (APPs) in Australia.
Hospitality professionals over the age of 18 will be able to apply for the Hospitality Education Grant programme, which will be run online by WSET course providers and lasts approximately four weeks. Priority will be given to Sommeliers Australia members and those unable to apply for Jobseeker and Jobkeeper. Individuals interested in applying for the grant can register at the Sommeliers Australia website until the 29th May 2020. Eligible candidates will need to complete the course and exam by end of July 2020 (the date of the exam will be dependent on COVID restrictions).
Imbi Knappstein, Executive Officer for Sommeliers Australia, comments: "It's a tough time for the industry on both a personal and professional basis. While we know we can't fix the whole issue, we want to do what we can to keep everyone engaged, connected and positive. We are delighted to partner with WSET on this initiative and in addition Sommeliers Australia will gift an annual Professional membership to Sommeliers Australia, starting on 1 July 2020.”
Sarah Andrew, WSET Business Development Manager for Australia and New Zealand, adds: “We are committed to supporting the hospitality industry during this very challenging time. This exciting initiative will enable hospitality professionals nationwide to build their knowledge and skills so that they are in a better position to succeed after this crisis is over.”