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Skills and Inclusion

Skills and Inclusion
The Scotch Whisky industry is committed to building the skills and careers of our people, and working to achieve a more diverse and inclusive global workforce.

Within Scotland alone, the Scotch Whisky industry supports 41 000 jobs, with almost 39 000 flowing directly from the production of Scotch Whisky, primarily involving (but not limited to) distilling, rectifying and blending. Across the rest of the UK, the industry supports an additional 25 000 jobs, and in 2022 the Scotch Whisky industry generated £7.1 billion Gross Value Added (GVA) in the UK. 

Scotch Whisky’s provenance, craft and heritage have made it renowned on the world stage, loved in 180 global markets. 

As an industry that’s over 500 years old, our success is built on a drive to:  

  • Boost the skills of our workforce and the next generation of colleagues 
  • Proactively strive for equality across our global teams
  • Ensure that the many opportunities to thrive in our amazing industry are available to all 

Spirited Careers

The Industry team has designed and launched Spirited Careers with support from HR and inclusivity professionals in the Scotch Whisky industry. Spirited Careers is a part of the SWA website which can be used to find information about jobs and current vacancies in the Scotch Whisky industry.  

Visit Spirited Careers here

Inclusion and diversity in the Scotch Whisky industry

In 2020 the industry launched its Diversity and Inclusivity Charter, committing it to action to improve aimed at improving representation and opportunities across the industry at all levels. Following a comprehensive review of the Charter’s aims and purpose, it has now been evaluated for relevance and impact. The refreshed Charter was approved by the SWA Council in December 2023 and we are delighted to be able to relaunch this key part of the strategy as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Charter. The aims and purpose of the Charter are still to attract a wide range of people to work for the industry in Scotland and around the world, and support everyone at all stages in their careers.

“I am pleased that the refresh of this important Charter has been approved at the highest level within the SWA. Diversity, equity and inclusion are key parts of all organisations in this and every sector and it’s important that we celebrate how far we have come and acknowledge there is still a considerable amount of work to go. I am excited to proceed with this new vision.”

- Heather Pritchard, chair of the Skills and Inclusion Working Group 

Through the Charter, we are underscoring our commitment to attract a wide range of people to work for the industry in Scotland and around the world at all levels and at all stages in their careers. Our goal is to ensure that our workforce is as diverse as our whiskies and the people who enjoy them.

Read the refreshed charter here.

Voices from the Scotch Whisky industry

As part of the launch of the Scotch Whisky Diversity and Inclusivity Charter in 2020, we gathered thoughts and clips from colleagues across the industry on the importance of having a diverse and inclusive workforce that welcomes people from all backgrounds.

Skills and Inclusion news & commentary

11 March 2022

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022

We look at people from across the Scotch Whisky industry starting on their career path during Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022

10 March 2021

Scotch Whisky Industry Builds on Commitment to Inclusion and Diversity with Creation of New Focus Group

The Scotch Whisky industry has launched a focus group to help achieve sector-wide diversity and inclusion goals.

16 October 2020

Embracing diversity and inclusion in Scotch Whisky

The Scotch Whisky industry's recent launch of a Diversity & Inclusivity Charter is a chance to build on the ongoing conversations across the sector about how we welcome colleagues from all backgrounds, says SWA Chief Executive Karen Betts.

28 September 2020

Scotch Whisky Industry Commits to Diversity and Inclusivity in Charter Launch

The Scotch Whisky industry has launched a Diversity and Inclusivity Charter to help create a diverse and welcoming workforce for people from all backgrounds.