From education to employment

Cocktails and presentation included in the new qualification.

Flat beer, stale bar snacks and second rate cocktails may soon be a thing of the past as 2008 sees the launch of a new qualification for bar staff.

As more cocktails are served than ever before, Plymouth Gin, working with City & Guilds, is introducing a new Professional Bar Tenders Course designed to improve skills of bar staff across the country.

Qualifications awarded as part of the course will recognise the presentation of drinks, the taste of cocktails, product knowledge of bar staff and general customer service. These qualifications will be available to be awarded at any time in a bar tenders career as they progress and develop more skills.

The course, developed with the backing of the police, will ensure pub and bar staff are educated in promoting responsible drinking and also bring a standardisation of quality to the many existing training courses available to bar tenders.

Sue Georgious, head of framework development and skills at the Qualifications Curriculum Authority (QCA), welcomed the move: “Through new courses such as these, bars across the country will soon be able to access new forms of training and have their employee’s achievement recognised in terms everyone can understand. This will not only lead to improved customer service and a better skilled workforce, but also reflect the industry’s drive to encourage more responsible drinking.”

Richard Smith, Brand Home Director at Plymouth Gin, agreed: “Hospitality is a vital part of the British economy and as such it’s crucial that people working in this sector are well skilled. We are very keen to promote responsibility and professionalism within the sector, especially with regard to the sale and consumption of alcohol.

“We believe that there is great demand for such accredited and nationally recognised training. We are very proud to be one of the first companies able to offer, through such a partnership, qualifications which recognise skills in this sector.”

The move is part of the trials of the Qualification Credit Framework (QCF) which is being introduced to reform the vocational qualifications system so it is easier to understand and better meets the needs of employers and learners. For the first time, the system will record people’s learning and training achievements, making it easier to identify where further skills need to be achieved.

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