The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has revealed that the demand for wine and spirits education is growing and is now higher than ever in Australia.
Australia is now the seventh largest WSET market having seen 27 per cent growth in its courses for 2016/17 over the previous year. The strongest growth has come in the WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits, which grew a massive 106 per cent.
WSET told TheShout that the Trust has seen growth across every level of education, with year-on-year growth listed below:
- WSET Level 1 Award in Wines +10 per cent
- WSET Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits +26 per cent
- WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits +106 per cent
- WSET Level 3 Award in Wines +34 per cent
- WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits +67 per cent.
Ian Harris, WSET Chief Executive, told TheShout that a significant portion of those taking WSET courses are consumers, and this means people in the trade should also be looking to develop its knowledge in order to meet growing consumer needs.
“The wine and spirits industry is very dynamic and more businesses are recognising that the quality education and training that WSET offers is important to help the industry adapt and support its continual success,” Harris said.
“Consumers have a much wider choice of beverage than ever before and are more conscious of what they are drinking. Approximately 30 per cent of our candidates are now consumer enthusiasts.
“Consequently, there is an increasing need for all sectors of the industry (producers, wholesalers, distributors, and customer-facing staff in retail and hospitality) to have staff with the requisite product knowledge to be able to cater to customers’ expanding tastes.
“Businesses are prioritising formal training and accredited qualifications to take advantage of the opportunity for the higher margins this consumer interest creates, driven by the evidence of return on investment.”
With 26 Approved Program Providers now offering WSET courses in Australia, there lots of opportunities for the trade to gain, develop and improve knowledge.
Harris added: “I am delighted to see that more and more businesses are recognising that education and well-trained staff are the foundations to better customer service and stronger profits. After another successful year for WSET we’re setting out strategies to take our progress to the next level.”