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New vocational hardship initiative launched by The Drinks Trust

Published:  05 October, 2021

The Drinks Trust has unveiled the launch of a new vocational hardship initiative called Develop, a scheme designed to lift people out of long-term hardship and help tackle the staff and skill shortage in the drinks hospitality sector.

The scheme, launched with Campari Group UK as a founding partner and the sole spirits partner, aims to train and place over 750 staff in the first 12 months of operations. Campari Group UK has made an initial commitment of £60,000 to the scheme.

The charity said that the drinks hospitality industry is experiencing a significant lack of skilled staff due to multiple Covid lockdowns, Brexit, a lack of entrants and a national talent drain. The programme was conceived to provide a long-term solution to individuals facing hardship, enabling them to develop a successful career in the industry.

Develop will provide training, grants, resources, and bursaries to those in the industry facing hardship to improve their skills, and ultimately provide them with an opportunity to grow their career and attract new talent.

Participating service providers in the programme include WSET, Mixology Group, IBD, Beer and Cider Academy, European Bartender School, and Julia Bailey, accredited career and executive coach – with more to be announced shortly.

The Drinks Trust said it would work closely with leading skills and education providers to deliver training, vocational and classroom-based courses to the beneficiaries of the Develop initiative. These providers will range in specialisms across beer, cider, wine and spirits, and skills-based providers offering services across interviewing techniques, CV writing and how to research and approach businesses looking for staff.

Work has also begun on partnering with operator groups to provide apprenticeship and work placement opportunities to ‘graduates’ of the Develop program.

Ross Carter, CEO of The Drinks Trust, said: “In March 2020, just ahead of the first lockdown, The Drinks Trust set out its plan to provide new services across both wellbeing and vocational hardship. Since then, we have made financial relief as a result of COVID-19 our priority, and in the last six months we have been working to deliver the promised services set out in March of last year. We are now able to deliver on that commitment and Develop comes at a time when the industry is in urgent need of new, skilled entrants.”

Brad Madigan, MD for Campari Group UK, said: “It is so important to us at Campari Group UK to play a role in the development of our drinks and hospitality industry, and we hope this investment will not only benefit the industry as a whole – but in particular to operator businesses who continue to struggle with staffing and skills shortages. We are proud to be joining forces with The Drinks Trust yet again and play a role in this initiative – we very much look forward to welcoming the first graduates of the Develop scheme into our vibrant industry.”

The Drinks Trust is looking for businesses in the wine, beer, and industry servicing sectors to join Campari Group UK and to invest in the scheme.