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College to offer new Bar, Wine and Service Industry training program
Okanagan College Media Release

Okanagan College’s Kelowna campus is offering a new seven-week Bar, Wine and Service Industry Training Program beginning January 7, 2013.

Tourism and hospitality is the largest primary resource industry in B.C.,” said Lorrie Forde, Program Administrator for Okanagan College’s Continuing Studies. “GO2, the B.C. tourism industry’s human resource association, has forecast the tourism industry as a leader in provincial job growth. With such a large portion of the wine industry concentrated in the Okanagan Valley, Okanagan College can help enhance the communities it surrounds by providing trained employees for its premiere businesses.” 

There are no academic admission requirements for this program, however students must be 19 years of age or older at time of admission. This program will accept 12 students and will be seven weeks long. Students will take 178 hours of combined theory and hands-on training in class plus an additional two hours of personalized one-on-one mentoring outside of classroom time as well as a 25-hour supervised practicum experience and an introduction to online learning via the Serving It Right program.

Potential students must meet all Employment Skills Access eligibility criteria, including: unemployed, non-EI clients who are legally entitled to work in Canada, a resident of British Columbia, not be a student (i.e. enrolled in high school or enrolled in post-secondary training) and not currently participating in another Labour Market Access funded program.

Students will upgrade their essential skills while increasing their knowledge of the tourism and hospitality industries. They will learn the skills and knowledge to discuss the British Columbia wine industry, educate customers in their wine choices, as well as create and serve mixed drinks. The program will include face-to-face instruction, experiential learning, presentations, and coaching. 

This program will also be offered at the Penticton Campus beginning April 15, 2013. Interested applicants for either campus can contact Kara Otke at or 250-762-5445 ext. 4870. Initial screening questions will be asked, and if eligibility is indicated, a personal screening interview will be set up to ensure the potential student is eligible for the program.

Okanagan College operates one of the largest Continuing Studies divisions of all public post-secondary colleges in the province of British Columbia in terms of student registrations, sections offered, and student contact hours. Continuing Studies is responsible for organizing and administering a wide variety of courses and programs including the Bar, Wine and Service Industry Training Program.  More than 12,000 people register annually in a variety of training programs with Continuing Studies in the College region.