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New funding for whisky qualification

Published:  04 January, 2011

Skills Development Scotland has teamed up with the Scotch Whisky Association to provide funding aimed at encouraging an additional 200 whisky workers to gain a Spirit Industry Vocational Qualification.

The qualification has been designed by the Scotch Whisky Association to recognise the expertise of employees across the entire whisky production process - from distilling to bottling. It aims to standardise good practice and allow skills to be recognised across the industry.

Alison Galbraith, the SWA's health, safety and skills manager, said: "The Scotch Whisky industry is a cornerstone of the Scottish economy, worth around £4 billion a year. Over 10,000 people are employed in the sector and it is vital we recognise and capture their skills if this industry is to keep growing.

"Our intention is to help whisky employees understand how their roles can develop and demonstrate that the industry offers a proper career with the opportunity to learn and grow as their skills improve."

The Scotch whisky industry is second only to oil and gas in terms of productivity per employee, with a GVA of over £262,000 - nearly six times as productive as the average Scottish worker.