|Time to give something BACK to the industry|
|Friday, 14 November 2008 16:19|
If Troy Christensen, Dan Jago, Matthew Dickinson, Neil Bruce and Angela Mount are all coming together for a two-day event, then the first thought that crosses your mind is there must be some new drinks conference in the offering.
The fact they are giving up so much time not to raise the public profile of their individual companies and businesses, but to do a spot of teaching is worthy of a double take. It is also an indication of how seriously the trade is taking next year's new Business and Commercial Knowledge course put together by the Wine and Spirit Education Trust.
The course, dubbed BACK for short, is not only an opportunity for the industry's young stars to sign up for some expert tutoring, it is also being seen as a chance for many of our leading lights to literally give something BACK to the industry.
What makes the new WSET-backed course so different is that it has come out of an industry recognised need to try to plug what is a sizeable skills gap when it comes to hands-on practical business and commercial skills within the industry.
Knowing your acidity from your minerality is one thing, being able to budget, organise cash flow and balance the books is another.
Companies' training budgets are going to be under even more pressure as we enter the recession, but even if they are cut that does not need to bring an end to all teaching. The best trainers are those in the jobs you are being trained up to do. People dealing with real-life situations, in real time, when it matters.
Too often, much of the theory and background learned on training courses is forgotten once you are back on the front line. In reality, the most important "trainers" in business today are line managers responsible for managing staff below them.
But how often do we see ourselves in that role? How often do we look at the skills gaps in our staff and look to do something about it.
Those that sign up to next April's BACK course are the lucky ones, but remember there are expert trainers in every company in the country.
We just have to remind ourselves of the fact.