Tasmanian distilling workforce report

We are pleased to share the Tasmanian Whisky Workforce Development Report which baselines the Tasmanian distilling industry and points the way for the industry to skill its people successfully to grow the regard of the sector into the future.

Link to the  Report here.

This report was completed by Anne Gigney from the Tasmanian Whisky Academy in 2016 and captures a point in time of growth of the Tasmanian industry and its relevance nationally.

It should be reviewed and considered a baseline tool for measuring investment and success of training (whether inhouse or more formal) in the future.

A summary of opportunities and recommendations for the industry to ensure its position are as follows:


  1. Opportunity: A distilling framework for training
    The Tasmanian distilling industry under the guidance of the TWPA has an opportunity to lead the country in the
    development of a training framework for the industry, in the same way that it has done with other aspects of distilling
    such as brand development and appellation.
  2. Opportunity: Lead the national development of a Distilling course
    The development of a recognised course in Distilling, created in Tasmania with support of the TWPA, provides the
    industry the opportunity to promote its approach to quality management, a factor which underpins the Tasmanian whisky brand.
  3.  Opportunity: Working with other craft industries to capitalise on shared opportunity
    Through this report, it has become clear that both the brewing and cider-making industries, and to a lesser degree
    winemaking, share some challenges with distilling. There is an opportunity for the industries to come together to identify areas of shared challenge and opportunity and discuss ways these industries can work side by side reduce cost and share training and tourism opportunity.
  4. Opportunity: Build increased tourism capacity and invest in skills
    There are three key areas of tourism opportunity for the Tasmanian distilling industry:
    1. The development of a strategic cohesive tourism approach to the promotion of the industry
    2. Strategic industry engagement with Tourism Tasmania and tourism industry groups to enable better connection and
    tourism opportunity, and
    3. Tourism specific training that provides a level playing field for all distillers to provide effective service the tourism
    The report recommends that the industry develop a strategic tourism approach – consulting with Tourism Tasmania,
    industry groups such as TICT and industries and businesses such as cider, beer and wine. It also recommends working with these entities for shared tourism training and professional development; and the identification of a TWPA representative to oversee skills and training based opportunities and challenges for the industry.


  • Recommendation 1: The Tasmanian distilling industry adopt a shared training framework to skill their people
    This recommendation is that the Tasmanian industry assist in the development, and adoption of, a standard training
    framework that sets out the typical steps for training a new distiller within the workforce. This will allow a common
    approach to training people within workplaces.
    A distilling industry framework would outline:
    1. Key roles in a distillery
    2. Tasks expected of that role
    3. Ways to assess that person is able and competent do that role safely
    This approach forms the basis of a competency matrix, which in turns is the basis for a framework for training people in the industry.
  • Recommendation 2: The Tasmanian distilling industry lead (advocate) the development of a Certificate in Craft Distilling. Note: this opportunity has now been superseded by a change in qualification development
    The Tasmanian distilling industry could further cement its reputation as the leading whisky region by developing
    a distilling course that can be recognised Australia-wide. This would be built from the training framework at
    Recommendation 1.
    The certificate course (VET level Certificate III or IV) will have the advantage of providing an underpinning framework for future accreditation for the industry.
  • Recommendation 3: Initiate a roundtable with Tasmanian craft brewers and cidermakers (and WineTas) to identify areas of commonality and opportunity.
    Through the research for this project it has become clear that there are some areas of common challenge and
    opportunity for the distilling, brewing and cider making industries.
    Areas of opportunity include:
    • Shared training
    • OHS/WHS challenges
    • Technical challenges
    • Tourism training and opportunities
  • Recommendation 4: Investigation and investment in business, soft skills and tourism training
    It has been identified that there are a range of areas where busy business owners are struggling, or are missing tourism
    and marketing opportunities due to time or lack of knowledge.
    The industry can work with existing training providers and within existing structures to pick up these skills, for either
    themselves or their workers.
    This training could be delivered in conjunction with regular TWPA meetings and might cover aspects such as marketing planning, maximising social media, maximising visitor experiences, or be more focused on business and troubleshooting aspects of the business.
    It is recommended that areas of need are discussed and identified by the TWPA, opportunities within tourism be
    further explored by the industry (or in conjunction with recommendation 3) and training in areas that can assist distillery businesses be explored.
  • Recommendation 5: Further research the role and needs of training as part of a long term industry strategy
    This report has researched the current position of skills and workforce development in the Tasmanian distilling industry
    and has identified:
    1. Areas of opportunity for the industry to explore
    2. Suggestions to help skill future workforce
    3. Ways to explore collaboration in training
    4. Tools to transition the industry to recognised training as it becomes ready
    The final recommendation of the report is that the TWPA identifies a resource (person) within its membership, or works with an external provider, to manage and progress training and workforce opportunities.
    The benefit of this action includes:
    1. Ensuring the industry continues to control and lead decisions, and recommendations, about future training
    for the industry
    2. Enabling to industry to monitor changes or implications to its membership business.
    3. Proactively reduces future risk by identifying training opportunities and workforce changes.

Link here

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