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Record demand for wine and spirit education

Published:  03 August, 2017

The demand for wine and spirit education soared in the past year with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) reporting a global hike in candidates in the past year - spearheaded by the UK. 

 The WSET reported a record 85,487 candidates globally for the academic year ending 31 July, 2017 - a 19% jump compared to the previous year - marking 15 years of growth, according to new figures released by the trust today. 

The UK continued to lead the global table with candidate numbers up 14% to 19,401. However, mainland China and the US followed closely behind both seeing impressive growth with candidates up 41% to 12,813 and 48% to 11,487 respectively.

The growth came on the back of more businesses recognising the retun of investment in educated staff, said chief executive, Ian Harris, adding the trust was now setting out strategies to “take our progress to the next level”.  

“The need for more knowledgeable staff is greater than ever, encouraging businesses to prioritise formal training and accredited qualifications for staff to cater to customers’ discerning tastes and drive profits,” he said. 

With the US remaining a strong region for growth across wine, spirit and sake, WSET said it would this year be cementing its presence in the market with the appointment of a dedicated team on-territory to “nurture the future potential”.

The new academic year will also see the release of the freshly updated Level 2 Award in Spirits and the availability of a full suite of printed materials for the Level 3 Award in Sake.

 In the past year, WSET expanded its global reach with the opening of its first international office in Hong Kong and launching courses in new markets including Czech Republic and Montenegro. 

In addition, it welcomed over 100 new Approved Programme Providers - there  there are now 750 Providers offering WSET courses to wine, spirits and sake trade professionals and consumer enthusiasts in over 70 countries. 

In the UK, a total of 243 Approved Programme Providers now offer WSET courses.