Skills Support for the Workforce

Brewery takes advantage of fully funded training to upskill employees

Keltek Brewery - Chris talking

The story

Keltek Cornish Brewery brew award-winning ales by hand with care and craftsmanship, using the finest whole hop flowers, British malts and hand-pitched yeast.  Over the years it has grown into one of the largest capacity breweries in the West Country.  Now based in Redruth in Cornwall, they have invested in their own in-house bottling facilities and in 2013 they became only the second brewery in Cornwall to own its own estate of public houses.

Keltek Cornish Brewery heard about fully funded training and got in touch with Serco’s Skills Support for the Workforce to see if they were eligible. The Skills Support for the Workforce programme aims to up skill employees within small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) to enhance career progression, knowledge and skills to improve confidence. Truro Penwith College is part of Serco’s network of expert organisations chosen to deliver the SSW programme in partnership with Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). SSW is co-financed by the European Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency.

Truro Penwith College carried out a Training Needs Analysis for Keltek Cornish Brewery to help identify skills gaps and training requirements.  The outcome of this meeting focused on the need for upskilling employees in their knowledge of wines and spirits. As a result 12 members of staff participated in a Wine and Spirit Education Trust Award Level 2. 

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) provides globally recognised education and qualifications in wines and spirits, for professionals and enthusiasts. The level 2 award is for individuals seeking a core understanding of wines, the qualification explores the major grape varieties and important wine regions in which they are grown. The 12 Keltek staff learnt about the styles of wines produced from these grapes as well as key classifications and labelling terminology. They were given a basic overview of the key categories of spirits and liqueurs. The qualification has a minimum requirement of 28 hours of study time and group sessions were delivered at Keltek Brewery.

Chris Wilson, Keltek Cornish Brewery said “The training provided by The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is vital to the smooth running of our business.  It has enabled our sales department to provide better advice to clients and help tutor waiting staff at the various venues we supply.  The trainer, who carried out the course on site, was approachable and very personable with an extensive knowledge of the subject at heart, with trade experience he had a real understanding of the requirements of the students.  We would heartily recommend this course, tutor and the college overall as the entire process was presented in a very professional manner.”

The training that Keltek Cornish Brewery have received has enabled staff to have a greater awareness of customer needs, to provide a more professional and focused customer service and broadened their knowledge base.  To find out about accessing fully funded training for employees through the Skills Support for the Workforce programme businesses and individuals can contact Serco


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