Skills and Training
30 May 2012
The Scotch Whisky industry relies on the
world class capabilities of its people from procurement,
production, logistics to sales, marketing and innovation.
SWA members are committed to growing the capabilities of their
staff through skills development and training provision.
Attracting new talent and ensuring the workforce remains
competent is critical to maintaining sustainable growth in a
long-term industry like Scotch Whisky. The Association is not
a training provider but the SWA Operational and Technical Affairs
team works closely with the Institute of Brewing and Distilling and
other relevant organisations to align the industry's training needs
with course and syllabus provision.
The SWA also acts as a focal point for industry liaison
with external stakeholders such as IMPROVE (the UK Sector Skills
Council for Food and Drink) and the Scottish Parliament's Cross
Party Group on Skills.
The Scotch Whisky industry is proud of the training it provides
its employees. The Association regularly surveys members on
training provision and skills issues. In 2011, 100% of SWA
member companies which responded to the survey offered
training to their employees. This compares to just under two thirds
of all Scottish employers in 2010. Scotch Whisky is a
highly skilled industry with a strong commitment to training.
Read more about the people behind our world-famous
Spirits Industry Vocational Qualification
The Spirits Industry Vocational Qualification (SIVQ) is a
competence-based qualification developed and endorsed by the SWA.
It has been driven by the spirits industry and is tailored to meet
its specific needs. It can be used to assess the skills and
knowledge people need to perform their job roles effectively.
On completion of a minimum of eight units candidates
achieve the SIVQ, awarded by the Scottish Qualifications Authority
(SQA). Work has recently been completed to credit rate and level
the SIVQ on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. This
adds weight and national recognition to the
Spirits Skills Programme
'Soft' or 'employability' skills are increasingly important to
modern employers wanting to remain competitive in a global
The SWA has developed, in collaboration with a training
provider, a 'soft skills' training course for industry operators
and team leaders. The Spirits Skills course has been developed to
meet the specific needs of the Scotch Whisky industry and offers an
interactive work-based approach to learning.
This course has evolved from a successful pilot, developed in
partnership with the GMB Union and several companies from the
Scotch Whisky industry. The course is available to all Scotch
Whisky companies and covers training in the areas of leadership,
communication and business awareness skills.