Future’s bright for Scottish beer

Apprenticeship for would-be brewers launched

New apprentice Jay Fraser with Tennent’s head brewer Jim Ryan (second from left)

STEPS have been taken to ensure Scotland has a steady stream of brewers for the future with the launch of a Modern Apprenticeship in brewing.

Commissioned by Skills Development Scotland, the programme was developed by the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink, and is supported by industry body Scotland Food & Drink and a number of brewers in Scotland, including Tennent’s, Islay Ales and Diageo.

Designed to help develop the next generation of brewers in Scotland, the apprenticeship will give students the chance to learn ‘on the job’ from an employer, while working towards an SVQ qualification.

Jim Ryan, head brewer at Tennent’s, welcomed the launch of the scheme.

“The brewing Modern Apprenticeship will give applicants the practical skills and industry-recognised qualification to succeed in a brewing career,” he said.

“The appeal of this brewing Modern Apprenticeship and working at Tennent’s saw us receive over 2000 applications for our roles. We’re delighted, therefore, to support the scheme and welcome two young apprentices, including Jay Fraser from Dunblane, to Wellpark [this month].”

It’s always been important to ensure there’s a pipeline of skilled brewers.

Hilary Jones, chair of the Brewing Industry Leadership Group, said the launch of the scheme is “great news”.

“We’re looking forward to working with Skills Development Scotland to engage with school-leavers, encouraging them to consider an apprenticeship in brewing as a contemporary alternative to more traditional further education, providing a springboard to a long-term career,” said Jones.

Jamie Hepburn, minister for business, fair work and skills, said the beer industry has been “one of the big success stories in Scotland in recent years”.

“A key factor in continuing that success in the long term is attracting a new and younger workforce to the industry, and providing these employees with the right skills and training to meet current and future business needs,” he said.