Equal Measures and The Mixing Class have secured funding for the first round of their jointly organised Education and Mentorship Programme.
The initiative aims to use education as a tool to foster increased diversity within the cocktail and spirits industry, offering thirty quarterly places to candidates from BAME communities and underprivileged backgrounds on a skills program, including a WSET Spirits Level 2 course.
The program plans to positively challenge existing hiring practices and ensure that bartenders from underrepresented BAME communities and underprivileged backgrounds are given a helping hand in overcoming existing obstacles and establishing themselves in the drinks industry.
A mentorship team has been assembled for the first group of students, who are due to be inducted from April 1.
The inaugural mentors will be: Aaron Wall (Homeboy), Ian Spink (Audemus Spirits), Alex Lawrence (Mr Lyan), Monica Berg (Tayer + Elementary), Ryan Chetiyawardana (Mr Lyan), Sandrae Lawrence (The Cocktail Lovers), Hannah Sharman-Cox & Siobhan Payne (London Cocktail Week), Pritesh Mody (World of Zing), Declan McGurk (The Boatyard Distillery), Dawn Davies (Speciality Drinks Group), Jenna Ba (Diageo), Angus Winchester (Alconomics), Sheyan Patel (The Lost Explorer Mezcal), Deano Moncrieffe (Equal Measures & Hacha) and Hannah Lanfear & Max Ostwald (The Mixing Class).
The sponsors to have funded the opening trench of student places are: Bacardi Martini, Edrington Beam-Suntory, Emporia Brands (Daddy Rack Whiskey), Everleaf, The Boatyard Distillery, Audemus Spirits, East London Liquor Company, The Lost Explorer Mezcal, Hoshizaki, Two Keys Mixers, LX PR and The Mixing Class.
Hannah Lanfear, founder of The Mixing Class, told CLASS: “Every quarter we’ll have 30 participants and the ten that have most impressed, through feedback from mentors and their WSET Level 2 exam results, will then be offered the Level 3 WSET.
"The reaction from industry leaders through mentorship and the support from brands has been so exciting. Some of our sponsors are not only funding placements but providing opportunities for work experience, trips and there’s also been offers of interviews for roles for our students. The way it’s grown has been be a lovely thing – the whole community has pitched in.”
Deano Moncrieffe, founder of Equal Measures, said: “I am incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to help drive positive change in our industry through this long-term partnership with The Mixing Class.
"We are determined to help those who have had to face unfair barriers due to either the colour of their skin or lack of financial resources to further themselves and unlock their full potential. This is not a one-off, we will do this until we really do start to see an industry that is more reflective of society and true progression means everyone must play a part.”
To support to the Equal Measures Education and Mentorship Programme please contact Max Ostwald.