The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has launched an initiative aimed at making a career in the drinks industry in Australia more accessible to indigenous students.
WSET is partnering with the National Indigenous Culinary Institute (NICI) – which helps cultivate the careers of highly skilled indigenous chefs – on the initiative.
The program, funded by WSET, will offer more than 150 indigenous students the opportunity to take a WSET qualification over the three-year period between 2022-2024. 30 students already enrolled on hospitality courses with NICI will be given the opportunity to take a WSET Level 1 Award in Wines course.
Sarah Andrew, WSET Business Development Manager in Australia said of the initiative, “We are delighted that we are able to launch this initiative today. The Australian drinks and hospitality industry currently offers extremely limited opportunities for those from disadvantaged, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander backgrounds.”
She added, “Currently there are no Australian WSET educators or sommeliers identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander working in the industry and there isn’t a clear pathway to drive positive change and diversity. We hope that our initiative will empower individuals to use their WSET qualifications as a springboard to achieve rewarding careers within the drinks industry.”
NICI CEO Nathan Lovett added, “The NICI is very excited to be opening new employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust education programs. Our program started with the goal of developing Australia’s next top chefs and these qualifications will help us to create Australia’s next top Sommeliers.”