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Chief of the Week: Ian Harris and the WSET

Published:  24 April, 2015

We raise a glass to The Wine & Spirit Education Trust and chief executive Ian Harris today for all the work that they have been doing over the decades to educate both those in the trade and consumers about wine.

Wine and Spirits Education TrustWine and Spirits Education TrustWine and Spirits Education Trust

This week the WSET announced it would be the recipient of The Queen's Award for Enterprise 2015 in international trade at a reception on the 14 July, 2015 held at the Buckingham Palace.

The Queen's Award for Enterprise is the UK's most prestigious award recognising British businesses that have excelled in innovation, international trade and sustainable development.

No doubt the WSET and Ian Harris have earned it. 

Wine and Spirits Education Trust

Ian HarrisIan Harris

The WSET for the 2013/2014 academic year saw 56,215 candidates sit for their courses. That was a 16% increase in enrolment compared to the WSET's previous academic year. Both years have seen record breaking enrolment numbers.

The WSET was originally set up in 1969 to help meet the need for wine and spirits education within the UK and is now offered in 18 languages in more than 60 countries. Today 75% of people who sit for the WSET courses are from outside the UK.

The successful expansion of the WSET has been under the stewardship and guidance of the current chief executive Ian Harris. Harris joined the Trust in 2002 after spending a quarter of century work working in the wine and spirits industry.  He is a holder of all the WSET qualifications and lectured at the WSET for spirits at the diploma level for ten years.