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Lifeline for the South's young unemployed

Posted on Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Costa Academy opens in Southampton offering Apprenticeships and training for NEETs.

Costa apprentices with store managerA brand new opportunity for the South’s jobless youngsters has been unveiled with the opening of the UK’s first Costa Academy in Southampton High Street. Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead and Southampton’s Mayor officiated the opening.

Above Costa’s High Street store the new Academy, which cost £29,000** to set up, is a joint project between Costa* and the local Junior Chamber International, JCI Southampton, which was successful in winning a £9,000 lottery grant to help fund the project.

Costa* is specifically targeting young people not in employment, education or training (NEETs) in Southampton and across the South offering them an employment lifeline by opening the UK’s first Costa Academy in the city, creating a host of apprenticeship and training opportunities.

Costa*, which has already trained more than 140 apprentices to date across the South, is actively trying to support young NEETs, including those who will leave school this summer with little or no qualifications, and give them opportunities to become apprentices in one of the 25 Costa stores regionally. The new Academy will provide a second chance for young people to equip themselves with real credentials, as the 100% vocational course results in a Hospitality and Catering Level 2 Barista qualification, equivalent to 5 GCSEs level A-C, including Maths and English.

Michael Steel, learning and development consultant for Costa* says: “We are committed to helping and supporting local communities where our stores are situated. Over the past three years, offering Apprenticeships to young people in the community has been a fantastic way to grow our workforce and develop their skills. The Academy, based in the heart of Southampton, will enable us to support disadvantaged young people in a theory and practical way as well as enhancing our existing staff’s skills. In partnership with the Junior Chamber, JCI Southampton, our Academy will give development opportunities to young people currently not available anywhere else in the UK. We are thrilled to begin this next phase to our learning & development vision for our business, our staff and our communities.”

Drew Charman, JCI Southampton 2012 President commented: “I am truly excited that JCI Southampton is able to partner Costa Coffee in providing this valuable asset to the city and its workforce. This is the latest initiative that we have launched to help promote the personal and professional development of young people in the city, and also to serve the wider community itself. All new apprentices will not only benefit from the academy but will also have the opportunity to join JCI and gain access to the wide network of young professional members and business partner organisations both in Southampton and across the UK.”

The Costa Apprenticeship offers apprentices, typically 16 -18 year olds often from disadvantaged backgrounds, the chance to not only hone their proficiency to work for a company like Costa, but also the chance to equip themselves with the valuable life skills needed to secure future employment.

The Academy in Southampton will benefit new recruits as well as its twelve existing apprentices. Costa already has an impressive success rate of 95% for those starting the Apprenticeship then going on to achieve employment with Costa. Which means the Costa Apprenticeship offers a genuine solution for those looking to join meaningful employment.

The Academy will comprise of a practical room, with coffee machines for barista training and a theory room for paper based training and exams. Costa will also be making this room available for other local organisations to hire (e.g. local St John’s Ambulance, Eastleigh College).

* Costa franchisee Premier Coffee Ltd is offering new Apprenticeships, having already trained 81 apprentices to date across its 25 franchised stores.

** Premier Coffee has invested £20,000 into its new Southampton Academy. The Southampton Junior Chamber International (JCI) was responsible for securing National Lottery funding of £9,000 to support the project.


National Apprenticeship Service


The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has end to end responsibility for Apprenticeships in England. The NAS has been designed to increase the number of Apprenticeship opportunities and provide a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners.

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