Eight ambitious individuals working within the Scottish wholesale industry are to benefit from an intensive training programme that will help improve their negotiating skills.

The Scottish Wholesale Association will sponsor the individuals to participate in The Gap Partnership's Complete Skilled Negotiator, a three-and-a-half day residential programme designed to help delegates adopt a set of skills and attitudes that will serve them and their company's commercial goals.

Taking place at Crieff Hydro later this month, the course - known as GAP II - follows the trade association's previous Essential Negotiator sessions in association with The Gap Partnership. Each delegate on this more advanced programme completed an Essential Negotiator course and has been accepted following a stringent application process amid tough competition due to the limited number of places available.

Sandie Holmes, principal consultant at the SWA's training partner, 121 HR Solutions, explained: "Each of the 24 delegates who participated in our Essential Negotiator workshops in 2014 and 2015 were eligible to apply. However, with just eight places for this more intensive workshop available, individuals had to go through a stringent application process which included providing supporting statements from the member company and the individual as to the impact/value attending GAP I has had on their performance."

The candidates are:

  • Stuart Harrison, senior buyer, JW Filshill
  • Asim Sarwar, managing director, United Wholesale (Scotland)
  • Anshu Chandra, licensed director, United Wholesale (Scotland)
  • David Rowan, wholesale manager, Dunns Food and Drinks
  • Patricia Harding, junior buyer, Sugro
  • Imran Ambalia, junior buyer, Sugro
  • Karen Kelly, national account manager, 3663
  • Seonaid Holsgrove, assistant buyer, Gordon & MacPhail

Kate Salmon, executive director of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Wholesale Association, commented: "Providing relevant and effective training is one of our Association's core pillars and we are delighted to be working once again with The Gap Partnership whose much-lauded programmes have set global standards for experiential learning.

"This is a significant investment for us but one we are willing to make in order to ensure that our industry has strong leadership - we need highly-skilled individuals to take our industry forward, people who are not afraid to take risks in order to grow their businesses, come up with innovative ideas and motivate their staff.

"This month's course will bring together a group of our members' most talented and ambitious people whose roles range from managing director to assistant and junior buyers. Each one has secured their place on the Complete Skilled Negotiator based on their own merits - they are the lifeblood of our industry.

"In Scotland, food and drink wholesalers operate 78 depots and employ 6,900 employees generating in excess of £3 billion a year - it is our job to nurture their skills as we strive to enhance our sector's role as a key contributor to the Scottish economy."