This autumn sees the launch of the new ‘Majestic Diversity In Wine Scholarship’, a new initiative set up by Majestic Wine, the UK’s largest specialist retailer.
With the aim of helping to increase diversity and inclusivity in the wine industry, the annual programme will see up to 50 candidates from BAME or diverse backgrounds put through their WSET Level 2, free of charge and with no further obligations to join the business.
The first scholarships will be available from this October, with the aim to get up to 24 candidates qualified in their WSET before Christmas. The sessions will be taken by Majestic’s in-house training team, alongside insight and messages from other members of the wine industry. Given the current situation with COVID-19, the courses will be run online – however all materials, samples, glassware and video courses will be delivered to participants homes. A second intake of a further 24 is being planned for Spring.
The initiative has been designed with feedback from the wider wine community and in particular members from a BAME background.
Speaking ahead of the first semester of courses, CEO of Majestic John Colley said: “We wanted to ensure that we are part of creating meaningful, long lasting change and supporting inclusivity in the sector. We have spent time talking to our own colleagues, as well as the wider wine trade, to really understand the best way Majestic can help. As the UK’s biggest trainer in wine, I feel this is a really powerful way to help create a more diverse and inclusive future.”
If you don’t think the wine industry is for you, because of your background, then I would really urge you to get in touch. It’s a simple, no strings programme and all the costs are covered by Majestic. You’ll be under no obligation to join the industry afterwards – although this could be a great stepping stone for a career with Majestic or in wine generally. Join to get a taste for the opportunities and passion that working in wine can create – and help to develop your own understanding of this fantastic product.”
Following his consultation on the scholarship, Mags Janjo, sales director at at MJ Wine, added: “The WSET’s structured and tiered approach offers wine knowledge at all levels, from the novice to the seasoned connoisseur. I’m absolutely delighted that an industry bastion such as Majestic Wine – which has long been a gateway into the wine industry – is offering such an amazing opportunity.”
How will it work?
Numbers: Based on three/four cohorts of eight/six candidates (20 – 24 places)
How: a series of 6 weekly two-hour webinars hosted on Zoom/Google Webinar
When: Thursday evenings from 5.45pm to 7.45pm, commencing the first week in November, with the exam taking place in the third week of December
Trainer: Simon Kehoe (plus contributions from across the wine industry and Mags Janjo).
Recruitment: to join, please head to the Majestic Careers website.