KATLEGO Tlhatlhedi from Roodepoort and Siphiwe Ngcobo from Ekurhuleni, two mentees at the first mentorship training session in Johannesburg showcasing their bartending skills. Photo: Supplied.
KATLEGO Tlhatlhedi from Roodepoort and Siphiwe Ngcobo from Ekurhuleni, two mentees at the first mentorship training session in Johannesburg showcasing their bartending skills. Photo: Supplied.

Diageo SA launches bar mentorship programme for previously disadvantaged bartenders

By Dieketseng Maleke Time of article published Sep 27, 2021

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TEN OF South Africa’s bar industry experts have joined hands to upskill 100 previously disadvantaged bar staff through Diageo SA’s newly-launched “The Hand-Up” mentorship programme.

They will mentor the bartenders in a 9-month campaign, worth more than R450 000. It starts in August 2021 and sees the mentees prepared for the World Class National in April 2022.

The programme will run in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town, with mentors split between the cities.

The Diageo Bar Academy describes itself as an international top training, inspiration, and networking hub for bar professionals to enhance their careers.

According to the Diageo Bar Academy, the “by bartenders for bartenders’ programme aims to teach entry-level bartenders to become competitors in Diageo’s World Class competition, which has supported, trained and inspired more than 400 000 bartenders across 60 countries.

Programme founder and owner of Art of Duplicity Brent Perremore said they were looking to help coach bartenders so that they can have great CVs to gain employment.

“We decided to focus on a diverse group of young women and black men bar staff as, every year, the Diageo Bar Academy gets solid entries from them, but they tend to drop off before the national finals and don’t make into World Class. We want to focus on upskilling these bartenders by providing them with stock, equipment, and training to practice mixing drinks to help them improve, thereby adding diversity to those working in the bartending industry,” said Perremore.

The idea for The Hand-Up programme was born in 2019, when bartender and World Class 2021 champion Perremore was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome and left temporarily paralysed.

“The community fund-raised to help give me a hand up and help me fund leg braces. I started thinking of ways to give back and, in tandem with industry players Bradley Jacobs and Cassandra Eichhoff, came up with the idea for a mentorship programme for bartenders who need a hand up,” Perremore said.

The company said the mentees were selected from the staff at bars that were Diageo SA customers and are primarily female and black.

“Our mentors and sales representatives selected deserving candidates, whom they believed displayed a passion for the industry and a dedication for self-improvement but who had not yet had an opportunity to take the next step.”

Diageo SA’s marketing director, Zizwe Vundla, said: “Diageo SA knows that the best performing businesses prioritise inclusion and diversity, and we believe it is crucial to create a culture with inclusion and diversity at its heart,

“Many low-income people start out doing bar tendering as a form of employment until they can find something better, but through the Bar Academy and now the Hand-Up programme, this could become a career path for them as they can have a successful career. Those who do well at regional, national, and world-class competitions build their CVs and see more doors opened to them, so we are focused on growing and developing new players in the industry.”

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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