We are delighted to announce our ongoing support of the Pinotage Youth Development Academy in South Africa with an £8,000 (R150,000) contribution to its vocational training programme. The Academy focuses on students aged 18-25 who have graduated from high school, are unemployed or in casual work and come from disadvantaged backgrounds. The programme is designed to develop the life and technical skills of young South Africans to qualify them for employment within the wine industry and related sectors.
We joined forces with M’Hudi, one of the Academy’s partner wineries to sell the M’Hudi Pinotage to its 150,000 customers via the Virgin Wines website, with a proportion of the cost from each bottle of wine going directly back to the Academy to support the students.
The programme covers a range of practical skills associated with all aspects of wine tasting, from viticulture and cellar work, through to marketing and selling. Its approach is holistic, teaching life skills alongside technical know-how in order to build personal capacity for employment.
Andrew Baker, Buying Director of Virgin Wines commented:
“We had been looking for some time to support a project such as the Pinotage Youth Development Academy, which directly develops hidden talent in young people. We believe in good wine from good people, so when we had the chance to get involved in this project to bring our customers a boutique quality tipple and help young South Africans at the same time, we jumped at it.
He continues: “I felt extremely humbled and very proud to head to South African recently to personally present our donation on behalf of the Virgin Wines customers and spend some time with the students at the Academy. I was hugely impressed with the students and their work. Not only have they all graduated first year students now graduated, but they have formed a cohesive, bonded group who, against all odds, are joyously happy in their outlook – it really is amazing to see. We are very excited about developing other possibilities in the future to raise funds and further immerse the students into the world of wine.”
Customers wishing to help the Pinotage Youth Development Academy can enjoy the M’Hudi Pinotage, for £11.99 a bottle. Visit www.virginwines.co.uk/mhudi for further information on the academy, or you can view their website by visiting www.pyda.co.za.
Watch Year 1 student, Andisiwe Ketsiwe’s talk about the opportunity the Academy has given her. Having completed the programme she is now in full time employment.