JIS News

Story Highlights

  • A total of 300 young people are to be equipped with skills in bartending through Red Stripe’s Bar Academy programme.
  • The 2019 edition of the programme was launched on Monday (May 13) at the brewery’s Spanish Town Road location in St. Andrew.
  • The training, being delivered by Red Stripe in partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA, commenced with an orientation exercise and will be held over six weeks culminating late October.

A total of 300 young people are to be equipped with skills in bartending through Red Stripe’s Bar Academy programme.

The 2019 edition of the programme was launched on Monday (May 13) at the brewery’s Spanish Town Road location in St. Andrew.

The training, being delivered by Red Stripe in partnership with the HEART Trust/NTA, commenced with an orientation exercise and will be held over six weeks culminating late October.

It entails two weeks of classroom instruction and a four-week internship. The participants will receive a weekly stipend of $5,000.

Now in its 11th year, the Red Stripe Bar Academy programme seeks to deliver tailored skills and relevant knowledge-based tools to aspiring bartenders.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange, in her remarks at the launch, commended Red Stripe for the initiative, noting it provides “real opportunity for advancement for a section of our society that needs our attention and support”.

“The objective of this programme goes right to the heart of what needs to happen in Jamaica if we are to achieve our goal of sustainable prosperity for all our people. Kudos to Red Stripe for 11 years of substantial contribution to our country’s development; this is the essence of a true corporate caregiver,” she said.

Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Minister, Hon. Olivia Grange (right), converses with Head of Corporate Affairs, Red Stripe, Dianne Ashton-Smith, during the Red Bar Academy 2019 programme launch on Monday (May 13), at the brewery’s location on Spanish Town Road, St. Andrew. .

Ms. Grange further commended the Heart Trust for its continued support of the initiative, noting that “certification of the nation is fundamental for true and sustainable prosperity”.

“No young man or woman should feel that they do not have the support or opportunity for personal development, social mobility, and economic advancement,” she said.

The Culture Minister noted that the new cohort of bartenders and mixologists will add to Jamaica’s thriving creative economy, also known as the “orange economy”.

“In 2018, there were over 22,000 events in Jamaica. Additionally there were festivals. These are occasions for bartenders, mixologists and entrepreneurs…; we will be sending forth 300 soldiers armed with values, skills and talents that the country needs for its transformation.

Ultimately, it is knowing that we aspire to the same destination… a prosperous Jamaica for all,” she said.

Head of Corporate Affairs, Red Stripe, Dianne Ashton-Smith, told JIS News that the training not only seeks to empower young people in bartending but they will be taught soft skills as well.

These, she noted, include “customer service and understanding the brand, not just Red Stripe but your personal brand… that is going to provide economic independence”.

Programme participant, Sherika Powell, whose family owns a small bar in Sligoville, hopes to make her mark in the entertainment sector as a mixologist.

“At the end of the programme, I hope I learn to mix spirits… . It is a very important opportunity, as it allows you to get more exposure, more knowledge about how you can make more use of the spirits and assist persons to drink responsibly,” she shared.

The Bar Academy is part of Red Stripe’s Learning for Life Programme, an initiative funded by the Desnoes and Geddes Foundation.