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L-r: WineSchool 3 Director Mr. Shalico Christian, Wine School 3 WSET Educator Mr. Christian Esser and NWDA Manager of Training and Development Ms. Dianne Conolly.

Published 7th July 2016, 4:22pm

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – The National Workforce Development Agency (NWDA) has partnered once again with local company WineSchool 3, this time to offer a 12-week training and internship opportunity to ten (10) people who are interested in learning more about the business of wine and spirits and bartending.  The agency is inviting Caymanians over the age of 18 to apply for the programme.  

Hon. Tara Rivers, Minister for Employment, encourages interested Caymanians to take advantage of this opportunity saying, “Being able to obtain such international qualifications locally is a wonderful opportunity for our people, and I encourage all those who are interested to take advantage of this programme. The hands-on training and certification provided will no doubt open doors in the food and beverage industry of which there are many job opportunities available locally.” Minister Rivers went on to say that, “I am pleased that what started as a meeting and a conversation between Mr. Christian and I has led to the development of this targeted training and internationally recognised qualification programme launched in conjunction with the NWDA. I would like to thank Mr. Christian and WineSchool 3 for providing this opportunity and for working with the NWDA to take this programme forward to help meet the training and employment needs of the food and beverage industry in particular. ” 

Commenting on the job opportunities available, Dianne Conolly, NWDA Manager Training & Development said, “There are very few Caymanians who are trained and certified in the wine and spirits sector; yet, there were at least 150 bartending positions being filled through work permits the last time we inquired.  This internship provides an opportunity for Caymanians to be trained in this industry, and receive international certification which will position them to gain employment after completing the programme.” Ms. Conolly further stated,   “We’ve had a number of Caymanians express interest in bartending and learning more about how to pursue a career in this field so we are very pleased to work with WineSchool 3 to help populate this sector of the workforce with qualified Caymanians.”

WineSchool 3 is a Cayman company which provides Wine and Spirits Education to members of the trade and to consumers.  Owned by Caymanian Shalico Christian, the business is an Approved Programme Provider in the Caribbean for the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Limited (WSET), a UK organisation which provides best-in-class education and qualifications to the world’s wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts. WSET qualifications are globally recognised as the international standard in wine and spirit knowledge. 

“More than Seven-Mile Beach or Stingray City, this country prides itself on its people.  Who better to represent the Caymanian product than a Caymanian,” said Mr. Christian.  “It is time for Caymanians to realise and understand that hospitality is not only housekeeping or bellman-type jobs.  It is our hope that this training and internship programme will result in successful exam results which will lead to job offers for the interns.”

Christian says that the Cayman Islands ranks in the top 15 countries in the world (per capita) for wine consumption, and that he would love to see more Caymanians getting into the wine industry.  He envisions the WineSchool 3 growing and launching programmes in Cayman Brac and possibly Little Cayman, and hopes to be around for long time by developing partnerships with the industry.

Students in the WineSchool 3 training and internship programme will receive a WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits after completing a course which includes 24 hours of class time and 36 hours of internship; an Encyclopaedia of Cocktails; and a Bartenders Tool Kit.  The certification course is overseen by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual) which regulates qualifications, examinations and assessments in England. 

Individuals interested in applying for the bartending training and internship programme should contact the NWDA’s Training and Development Unit by email at nwda.internship@gov.ky or call 945-3114.