World Class and Ketel One Vodka collaborate to support skills training

World Class and Ketel One Vodka create the perfect mix by collaborating to support skills training program Learning for Life in Miami.


Bob Nolet with 2 graduates

The course included training sessions with Ketel One brand ambassadors and Ketel One 11th generation distiller, Bob Nolet. After completing the course, the graduates were able to put their new skills to the test and work with the best bartenders from across the globe at the World Class ‘World’s Best Bartender’ competition finals in Miami.

The Learning for Life programme was delivered in partnership with Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality (FIU) and Tourism Management and the graduates received a Bartending Certification from the National Hotel & Lodging Association and a certificate of completion from the FIU. Throughout the week of the competition, the graduates assisted in different tasks, supporting the finalists with bar back duties and tray service and were also part of the staff at the prestigious grand finale event at the Ice Palace in Miami.

Ella Fok, a Learning for Life graduate who took part in the programme said of her experience, “I am very honored to have been part of this experience. Over the past six weeks, I learned not only about bartending skills but also the importance of excellent customer service and lessons in the hospitality industry. I also met a lot of amazing people - this is a life changing experience”

Bob Nolet speaking to graduates

Inspired by over 325 years of distilling expertise, Ketel One’s success has revolved around the brilliance of bartenders bringing the liquid to life; from the first bottles in the 1980’s right up to the incredible cocktails of today. Ketel One Vodka first teamed up with World Class in 2015, when the World Best Bartender competition was held in South Africa. Here, a bartending focused Learning for Life programme was held for young adults from Soweto, South Africa’s largest township.

Speaking about the Ketel One Vodka’s involvement in the Learning for Life program and the alliance with World Class, Bob Nolet, Ketel One’s 11th generation distiller said, “We are proud to be part of this great initiative. At Ketel One, we have always been passionate about supporting the Bartender’s community and its future generations. It felt natural for us to actively support the training these graduates have received, which will allow them to become true professionals, inspired and prepared to go far”.

The Learning for Life program launched in Diageo Latin America and Caribbean in 2008 as a sustainable and tailored approach to supporting low-income, disadvantaged individuals in the regions which Diageo operates. Over 90 programs in more than 40 countries are executed every year with over 115,000 young people having benefited from the program to date, with 82% of initiatives reporting that 70% of their graduates find employment after completing the Learning for Life training.