|17 March 2016|


A commitment to skills and training are at the core of the continued success of the Scotch Whisky industry, according to a report published today.

‘Scotch Whisky, Skilled Workforce’ from the Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) underlines the industry’s investment in its employees through training and development.

The industry directly employs 10,800 people in Scotland and supports more than 40,000 jobs in total across the UK. It adds £5 billion in value annually to the UK economy and is a star performer when it comes to exports. Investing in the future of Scotch Whisky therefore benefits the entire economy and helps keep Scotland competitive.

While the overall picture is positive for the industry, the SWA report found that there are challenges to be addressed. These include ensuring there is access to people with skills in such areas as engineering and project management, in particular, where Scotch Whisky competes with other areas when it comes to recruitment.

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for fair work and skills Roseanna Cunningham, said: “Three simple ingredients are needed to make a great Scotch Whisky – water, yeast and cereal – but of course there is a great deal more. Skill, expertise, and commitment that the workforce deliver creates the product that has a worldwide recognition for excellence.

“The Scotch Whisky industry is a cornerstone of the Scottish economy, directly employing around 10,000 people in Scotland and supporting a total of about 40,000 jobs across the UK, with many of them located in our rural and remote communities.  This report being launched today serves to remind us just how diverse the job opportunities are within the industry  –  from technical and electrical engineers, researchers, sales and marketing to tourist-related activity, legal, administration and management.

“There are many skilled jobs within this industry that help make it the global success it is and The Scottish Government is committed to supporting the needs of this key industry.  It is timely that this report is being launched today, as Skills Development Scotland are in the process of revitalising the food & drink Skills Investment Plan, which will help inform the Food and Drink Strategy refresh to take place later this year.”

David Frost, Scotch Whisky Association chief executive, said: “The industry relies on the world-class capabilities of its people from procurement to production, logistics to sales. Attracting new talent and ensuring the workforce remains highly skilled is critical to our long-term future. Skills and training are vital for the continued success of Scotch Whisky.

“We will work with the Scottish Government to ensure our people are as well-trained, highly skilled and motivated as possible. Our employees are key to the future growth of the Scotch Whisky industry and the economy as a whole.”