The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has announced the appointment of Jo Williamson as business development manager for Scotland and the north of England.

Williamson will be responsible for maintaining and developing relationships with new, and potential customers for WSET programmes, courses and qualifications, implementing WSET's sales and marketing strategy, and promoting WSET in Scotland and the north of England. His appointment takes effect on 28 June.

In a statement, Ian Harris, chief executive of WSET said: "We are delighted to welcome Jo to the WSET team - he brings with him a wealth of experience, as well as a network of contacts at the highest level. He also has recent experience at the sharp end of the wine and spirit industry, and understands the role that education plays in building bottom-line profitability for our customers in all sectors of the industry. I expect him to become a tremendous asset to WSET."

Williamson has been a brewer for Guinness, Park Royal and after 5 years he joined the sales team for the Scottish region. After discovering a passion for wine he put himself through the WSET qualifications through to diploma level and in 1985 moved to Waverley, eventually becoming sales director. He was also chairman of the Wine and Spirit Association in 2002/3.

Commenting on his appointment, Williamson said: "I am looking forward to working 3 days per week for the WSET to help promote them in Scotland and the north of England. I would, from personal experience, encourage anyone entering the trade to take the WSET exams and progress as far as possible. It enabled me to travel the world, meeting passionate wine producers and I was envied by anyone who asked what I did."