There are approximately three of us on the Pro Baristas team, and we worked with more than 250 potential baristas last year. That includes a wide spectrum of people, some serious about rapid employment in coffee, others with major support needs for whom coffee skills are a way of moving forward in life. Given the massive scope of this work, we can sometimes forget to pick our heads up and look around!
When we do, it looks a bit like this:
Brighton has a coffee festival coming up, which seems both long overdue and a bit mystifying. Brighton rarely does things like London does them, so what does the “Brighton” version of a big coffee industry bash look like? Will it grease the skids for a bit more collaboration on the local scene? Will we feature some very different coffee experiences on our stall? (Yes. Yes, we will.)
There’s a new Brighton Coffee Guide out. Fully one-fourth of the baristas pictured in it are people we trained. That’s fun!
That factoid shouldn’t be a surprise, I guess, because out of 75 people who went into formal, certified SCA training with us last year, 56 found employment — that we know of! (People sometimes get jobs and forget to tell us). Guys, there are a lot of coffee jobs out there …
The Jobcentre, the government, employment charities, special needs schools — everyone wants more barista training. But how to make sure this leads to more meaningful, durable jobs? Post-Brexit, how do we fight the urge to just rush the market with labour units, insisting instead on building satisfying careers?
Has anyone dropped into our pop-up coffee cart at Florence Road Market lately? It may easily feature the tastiest espresso around right now, served by a certain well-travelled barista competitor and coffee importer who is working with us on vital, compelling, hands-on new curriculum design. This happens every Saturday, even in arctic weather.
Is there room in Brighton for a training cafe with built-in support structures? A training roastery? A matchmaking service to put talent in the right shops? We’re exploring; stay tuned.