Majestic, the UK’s largest specialist wine retailer, has raised a glass to the latest cohort of graduates from its industry-leading Diversity in Wine Scholarship.
Ten more candidates from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and diverse backgrounds have successfully come through Majestic’s free training programme, achieving their Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 qualification.
The scholars will be officially crowned by Majestic’s CEO John Colley at an online graduation ceremony next month, ahead of an in-person celebration in the autumn.
Majestic launched the Diversity in Wine Scholarship during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the aim of driving diversity and inclusivity across the wine industry. The scholarship offers anyone from a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic or diverse background the opportunity to study for their WSET Level 2 qualification at no cost, and with no obligation to work for Majestic upon completion of the course. The online course and required wine samples would usually cost around £400.
Since its inception in September 2020, Majestic has now helped 45 people (31 women, 14 men) achieve their WSET Level 2 qualification, opening up a route into the wine industry that might not otherwise have been readily available to them. Applications for the Spring 2023 intake of wine-lovers are now open, with just 12 spaces available.
As Britain’s biggest educator in wine, Majestic plays a vital role in training and developing the wine professionals of the future through its in-house Learning and Development team. All staff across the retailer’s 202 UK stores are coached through the WSET Level 2 as a minimum requirement, with Store Managers qualified at Level 3 or Diploma level. That investment in training ensures that our colleagues are constantly developed in their careers, and allows Majestic to offer expert knowledge and advice to customers across the country, helping them discover and buy wines that they love.
Majestic CEO John Colley said:
“We are incredibly proud of our in-house Learning and Development team, and continue to harness that knowledge and expertise to create meaningful, long-lasting change across the wine industry.
“Huge congratulations go to all of our new Diversity in Wine scholars. They are further evidence of the powerful impact we are having at Majestic in creating a more diverse and inclusive future for our colleagues, customers and suppliers, by helping people from all backgrounds to take their first steps into the sector.”
Majestic People Director Jacqui Rouse added:
“I'm pleased that we are able to offer another group of students from diverse or BAME backgrounds this opportunity to kick-start a career in the trade through our Diversity in Wine Scholarship.
“It's been amazing to see the 45 students from our previous cohorts grow in confidence and use their newfound skills to develop their careers in our sector. We’re very much looking forward to working with our next 12 students and helping them on their wine journey.”
Diko Blackings, one of the new Diversity in Wine scholars, said:
“The Diversity in Wine Scholarship was an incredible opportunity for me to explore the origins, production, and manufacturing of wine. I was interested in wine but had never found a community that looked like mine.
“I am a Diversity and Inclusion Manager, City Councillor, and Cabinet Member. I am always looking for ways to widen participation for underrepresented groups. This course was a fantastic example of how you do the meaningful work of racial equity and inclusion as a business.”
Fellow scholar Shanti Mistry added:
“I found the Diversity in Wine Scholarship enriching, challenging and rewarding. It gave me opportunities to explore all things wine with people who were similar to myself, whilst celebrating our diversity.
“DIWS has set me up to explore alternative careers when the time is right. It stoked my passion for learning and boosted confidence. I would encourage people considering DIWS to be bold and apply. It's a great way to learn about something special and your loved ones and community will learn along with you.”
Anyone from a Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic or diverse background can apply to join the Diversity in Wine Scholarship via the link on Majestic’s LinkedIn page.