Diageo's Learning for Life students and graduates put their skills to the test in World Class bartending competition


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Diageo graduates compete in World Class bartending finals

Diageo graduates compete in World Class bartending finals

At total of 32 of Diageo's Learning for Life students and graduates from across Scotland had the work experience opportunity of a lifetime as they participated in the World Class finals of the world’s largest cocktail competition.

Taking place over the course of three days in Glasgow in Scotland, the competition saw 12 Diageo Learning for Life graduates mixing with some of the world’s leading bartenders to gain valuable experience behind the bar.

Showcasing skills through a challenging competition 

Graduates were joined by 20 Glasgow students taking part in the Diageo Learning for Life programme for a bespoke Ketel One cocktail masterclass. During the masterclass each individual tried their hand at creating cutting edge cocktails. Master class participants also had the opportunity to meet Ketel One master distiller, Bob Nolet.

Among the 55 finalists competing in Glasgow were two former Diageo Learning for Life graduates, Cesar Cedeño from Panama and Cheytan Baez from Dominican Republic, who the students were able to meet.

Kate Gibson, Director of Diageo in Society, said “World Class offers a unique opportunity for our Learning for Life graduates to not only showcase their skills at this world-famous event, but it also offers our students, old and new, the chance to learn and be inspired by some of the most revered cocktail mixologists from all corners of the globe.

“At Diageo we are committed to transforming the lives of people throughout the communities in which we operate. World Class is a perfect representation of how we are supporting individuals throughout their careers, from participating in our Learning for Life courses, to working at the World Class finals, to becoming one of the finalists competing.

“The commitment and enthusiasm of our partners The Springboard Charity and Ayrshire College plays a huge part in the ongoing success of the programme. I am exceptionally proud of all those involved.”

Diageo Director Kate Gibson

The world's largest bartending competition

The World Class Bartender of the Year competition is the world’s largest bartending competition, with top talent from across the globe competing to be crowned the best bartender. More than 10,000 bartenders from around the world are expected to compete in the 11th edition of the competition.

In addition to those taking part in Scotland, five Learning for Life graduates from Amsterdam took part in the first challenge of the World Class competition. The challenge, hosted by Ketel One and called ‘Better Drinking’, saw contestants create a drink using local ingredients in support of a sustainable local community.

Simon Earley, Head of World Class, said “World Class is all about working with the world’s best bartenders from around the globe to encourage people to care about what, where and how they drink. Only the best talent is invited to compete in the global finals, so we’re delighted to have our current and former Learning for Life participants be a central part of this year’s celebration and provide them with a chance to learn from some of the industry’s top talent.”

Learning for Life: an integral part of Diageo 

Learning for Life is Diageo's global programme that is designed to inspire and transform the lives of people throughout the communities in which the company operates.

Learning for Life has become an integral part of the Diageo business since it launched in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2008. It now has a truly global presence, with new programmes launched in North America, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Ecuador and South Africa. Learning for Life successfully runs more than 90 programmes a year in more than 40 countries, and has reached more than 140,000 people.

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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