The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has reported its highest-ever annual candidate figures for the last academic year, the organization says.
In 2018/2019, a total of 108,557 candidates took a WSET qualification, breaking the 100,000 barrier for the first time. This represents a 15% increase year-on-year versus last year’s candidate figures.
WSET’s three subject streams — wine, spirits and sake — all continue to show double digit growth, the organization says. The spirits category was the top performer, with annual candidate figures up 33% over the last year.
Overall, The U.S. market grew 26% with 17,416 annual candidates.
“It’s fantastic that we are able to report our best ever candidate figures in our 50th year,” says WSET Chief Executive Ian Harris. “The growing demand for WSET’s wine, spirits and sake qualifications worldwide demonstrates the importance of setting global standards in wine, spirits and sake education. In 1969, the year we were established, we had less than two thousand candidates in the UK – fifty years on we have over 100,000 candidates across 75 countries. I am incredibly proud of the WSET team’s achievement and I am extremely excited about the next 50 years!”
“Looking forward to the new academic year, we are rolling out our new and enhanced qualifications this month,” Harris continues. “The first courses for our new Level 3 Award in Spirits take place in Chicago on 26th August and in London on 21st October. In addition, our revised Level 2 Award in Wines and new flagship Level 4 Diploma in Wines also became available to students from 1 August 2019. We are also excited about the launch of our first global Wine Education Week which takes place 9-15 September. Over the course of the week, over 500 events are taking place in 47 countries – giving consumers around the world the opportunity to learn more about wine.”