Bacardi Brings ‘Shake Your Future’ to South Africa; Set to Empower African Youth

Bacardi, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, is bringing ‘Shake Your Future’ — a free, professional bartender training programme for disadvantaged young adults – to South Africa for the first time.

Participants of the Bacardi programme will receive training to develop a career in the art of bartending and mixology, and invaluable work experience in some of the industry’s top bars and restaurants – giving them the chance for a fresh start in life.

South Africa’s launch is a significant milestone in the expansion of the programme. It was launched in 2018 and has been ongoing since then. Shake Your Future has successfully trained over 80% of its graduates in the hospitality industry in France, Spain and Italy.

The 16-week Shake Your Future course kicks off today in South Africa, with 20 aspiring bartenders – 10 in Gauteng and 10 in the Western Cape – and plans in place for future programme rollouts in the coming months.

According to a report by Statistics South Africa, the country’s youth unemployment is at an incredibly high rate of 66.5%. Talent in the Ho.re.ca (Hotels, Restaurants, Cafes) sector has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 epidemic. 

Bacardi, a family-owned business, has recognized this challenge and is determined to solve it. The company’s Shake Your Future program fosters new talent, provides them with industry opportunities, and supports its on-trade partners, who struggle to find skilled workers.

Shake Your Future allows us to give back and support the needs of bar owners searching for talented bartending staff by introducing new, exciting talent for the future,” says Yeshene Singh, Country Manager for Bacardi in South Africa. “We’re proud to bring this truly transformative programme to South Africa – we’ve seen it change lives and build a brighter future for our graduates in other countries, and now we can’t wait to do the same here in Gauteng and the Western Cape.”

Bacardi has partnered up with Managed People Solutions in South Africa and Thirst Bar Services to create a program that gives students the best possible experience in bartending. This includes the art and science of mixology and the practice behind the bar.

Graduates will be awarded a worldwide recognized certification with Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 1 accreditation. This will allow them to pursue careers in the hospitality sector and beyond.

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