CEO launches #SkillsChallenge to train hospitality job seekers for work in alternative industries


WHILE the outbreak of Covid-19 raises doubts and fear in the hospitality industry, upskilling and reskilling are set to become increasingly important under unexpected circumstances. The global Covid-19 crisis has rattled the hospitality industry, adding a layer of panic and depression to a sector which was supposed to be busy and prosperous. Suffering the most immediate repercussions, the epidemic has cast a serious and lasting impact on both revenue and supply chains, resulting in sweeping unemployment.

Wine Cellar fine wine merchants CEO, Roland Peens, pre-empts a wildly different future for the hospitality industry as Lockdown eases and believes that upskilling and skills exchange will make a huge impact in terms of job creation, allowing job seekers to find employment in alternative industries. In an effort to provide a platform to upskill the hospitality workforce for the wine industry, Wine Cellar is launching #SkillsChallenge, a series of free online training conferences.

Roland Peens invites hospitality industry job-seekers interested in the wine industry to join a series of Zoom conferences, running for three consecutive Fridays, launching on Friday, May 22, at 6pm. The Wine Cellar team of professionals along with further industry experts will offer insight into wine industry positions and explain the skills required to succeed, covering wine sales, marketing and wine growing.

“The Covid-19 fallout has decimated the hospitality industry and I believe the wine industry can absorb some of the lost jobs,” says Peens. “While the wine industry too will struggle moving forward, we have an undeveloped industry especially at the fine wine level. The two industries are also highly connected as restaurants collectively sell a large portion of fine wine.”

While the traditional retail model is disrupted by ecommerce, restaurants will also be disrupted by more efficient food and wine home delivery. Front of house professionals and especially waiters already have some wine knowledge and the wine industry would benefit from more wine sales professionals.

To play a part in job creation, Wine Cellar will also be offering four apprenticeships to hospitality professionals seeking to enter the wine industry and Roland Peens challenges all CEOs across South Africa to identify how they can transfer skills, especially those businesses that have profited over this difficult time.

“WineCellar has been lucky to maintain robust sales during lockdown,” says Peens. “Our product, fine wine, is generally aged before drinking or kept for a special occasion, which means many of our customers are happy with delayed delivery. We are very thankful to be trading and would like to give back where we can.”

Wine Cellar #skillschallenge topics

1.     WINE SALES: Friday, May 22 at 6pm hosted by five fine wine sales professionals and the digital marketing team to explain their roles as well as their journey into fine wine.

2.     WINE MARKETING: Friday, May 29 at 6pm – delve into the skill of wine marketing, as well as wine logistics.

3.     WINEMAKING: Friday, June 5 at 6pm – will host a panel of SA’s leading winemakers and winegrowers to explain their journey and skills.

Log on to the Wine Cellar website to receive the Zoom link and join the conferences.

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