When the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) amped up their spirits programs last year, they promised an education appropriate for the times. Although they likely did not anticipate times that included a pandemic, they still delivered on their promise. Today, WSET announced an initiative to offer online—and free!—training to hospitality workers in the US.
Aptly titled, the Raising Spirits campaign aims to complimentarily enroll a minimum of 5000 bar and restaurant workers—specifically those who are unable to work due to the pandemic—in an online version of WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits course.
“The US hospitality industry is really struggling and, as an important part of the sector, we want to play our part in offering support. With our Raising Spirits campaign, we aim to keep hospitality workers engaged by giving them the chance to upgrade their spirits knowledge during this difficult time,” said Dave Rudman, Executive Director – WSET. “We want to help as many people as possible and so are reaching out to the wider drinks industry to work with us on this campaign.”
Safety first, of course! So, the four weeks of classes will be delivered online. That means that students will still have access to specialist-instructors, but can adjust the schedule to their own accommodate their own time demands. (It also means that no potential virus laden physical locations are required either.)
At the end of the course, there will be an exam. Those who pass and receive the Award will receive one of those cool WSET lapel pins.
“Many members of the US hospitality industry are already part of the global WSET family of students and educators, and we want to safeguard their future as well as the entire sector,” said WSET CEO Ian Harris. “I encourage the US drinks industry to join with us in supporting our Raising Spirits campaign.”
WSET would love to expand the number of gratis students. To this end, they are actively seeking corporate patrons to help build the program. If a reader happens to run a large (or small) corporation and feels moved, they can inquire about sponsorships by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 1st June 2020.
Industry types who are interested taking the classes also have a June 1 deadline. However, those spots are awarded first come, first serve; so, sooner than later is recommended. You can apply here.