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WSTA lobbies Government over training course licensing

Published:  23 July, 2008

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) is to lobby the Government after a number of wine educators have been told that they need a licence to run educational courses.

Under the Licensing Act 2003, introduced last year, education courses in wines and spirits fall within the definition of sale by retail of alcohol' - and could lead to wine educators having to obtain a personal licence to run private wine courses.

In a letter to Shaun Woodward MP, the minister responsible for licensing, the WSTA describes their inclusion as an unsatisfactory and burdensome situation', and argues that such courses pose no risk to the four licensing objectives, which are: prevention of crime and disorder; protection of children from harm; prevention of public nuisance; and public safety.

WSTA chief executive Jeremy Beadles said: By requiring these courses to be licensed, the Government has created a barrier to education and career development - as well as placing unnecessary additional costs and bureaucracy on the trade.'

Ian Harris, chief executive of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), told Harpers that if the Government insisted that all wine educators required personal licences, then the trust would cover the costs.

He added: To my mind, educating the industry and consumers in the joys and dangers of alcohol is fundamental to helping the Government achieve its objectives for social responsibility, and the WSET is committed to helping the industry to achieve this.'