Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
Dram good time at site
The Secretary of State for Scotland got to sample an Airdrie distillery’s commitment to training the next generation of skilled workers for the country’s whisky industry.
Alister Jack also learned about Inver House Distillers’ long-standing work on sustainability during his visit to the Roughrigg Road facility.
Managing director Martin Leonard and his team welcomed Mr Jack to their headquarters to meet four young graduates of the company’s successful apprenticeship programme, who now have full-time roles with the business.
While touring the site’s expansive bottling and warehousing facilities, Mr Jack met and shared a dram of the company’s flagship malt, Old Pulteney, with Jamie Hamilton, Gary Goldie, Alastair Peock and lead operator Declan Mcdonagh, all of whom are from the local area and now employed in various processing and HGV roles at the site.
Launched in 2008 and driven by a company-wide culture to invest in and nurture people, Inver House now runs the apprenticeship programme in association with Skills Development Scotland and the Scotch Whisky Association, with plans to increase the number of places on offer in 2022.
Coming during the world’s focus on COP26 in nearby Glasgow, Mr Jack was also keen to hear more about the company’s approach to sustainability across its five distilleries, which make whiskies including Old Pulteney, Speyburn, Balblair and ancnoc, as well as Caorunn Gin.
For Inver House Distillers, this means a focus on giving back to the environment and communities locally, by investing in reducing carbon emissions, taking tankers off the road and finding greener ways to manage water and the co-products of whisky production.
Mr Jack said: “I was really pleased to be able to visit Inver House Distillers, to meet the team and learn about their business.
“The whisky industry has done a huge amount to move towards sustainability, and it was great to hear about their innovative work to decarbonise their operation across Scotland.
“It was really encouraging to see how Inver House are investing in training local young people, creating the craftspeople and distillers of tomorrow.”
Martin Leonard added: “The whisky industry is very focused on the products that we make, but for our business, people are our greatest asset. They’re at the heart of everything we do, and the reason that we are able to make such acclaimed spirits here in Scotland to take out to the world.
“Our apprenticeship programme is about investing in the next generation of whisky makers, and giving young people the skills and training they need to forge a rewarding career in our industry.
“We are enormously proud of the young people who take up these exciting opportunities with our business, many of whom go on to become valued longterm members of the team.”