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Select Brands Becomes Wines & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) – Approved Programme Provider (APP)

Select Brands has not only acquired more retail and office space at 379 Spanish Town Road — indeed,
Thursday Life arrived Tuesday morning just as the sign was being erected — but has also become a Wines & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) online – approved programme provider with two qualified WSET educators in Debra Taylor, trade development manager, and Tania McConnell, corporate marketing manager. Both Taylor and McConnell also hold the WSET Level 3 qualification, and are the only persons in Jamaica to have achieved this qualification. Seems our wine consultant Christopher Reckord’s 2016 wish for improved wine service and delivery through training will soon become a reality.

The accreditation enables Select to offer WSET Levels 1 & 2 qualifications to candidates who qualify through the newly formed Select Brands Institute of Wines & Spirits.

“This strategic move,” said Managing Director David McConnell, “solidifies Select Brands’ position in the market as the leading distributor of premium wines and spirits on the island.”

“We have built a strong wines and spirits team dedicated to their craft, and all are qualified with at least the WSET Level 1 qualification. This reinforces to the now trade that Select Brands is the ‘go to’ company for quality and service in wines and spirits,” continued co-managing director Andrew Desnoes…

“The goal of the Select Brands Institute of Wines & Spirits is to provide necessary and practical skills through certification, for industry professionals, that can immediately be used by our customers to increase their business,” explained Taylor. “Additionally,” she added, “as the number of wine enthusiasts on the island grows, they too will be able to educate and qualify themselves.

“The establishment of the institute and being the sole representative of the WSET on the island allows us to deliver world-class training locally at special rates for our customers and consumers. The accessibility of courses and the subsidised rates offered represent significant cost savings to persons wishing to get the qualifications. This is a qualification that has weight on one’s résumé and is recognised and respected by employers in the industry worldwide.

Tania McConnell anticipates certification of 200-300 Level 1 awardees, and 50 Level 2 awardees, and expects that within three years wait staff with this qualification will have a competitive advantage when seeking employment within the industry. This, she believes, will “undoubtedly improve wine-service delivery and professionalism on the island”.

Editor’s Note:

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust, often referred to as WSET, is a British organisation which arranges courses and exams in the field of wine and spirits. WSET was founded in 1969, is headquartered in London and is generally regarded as one of the world’s leading providers of wine education.