Budding baristas get expert training at Highland school

Josh Graham, Andy Maxtone, Poppy Tomes and head Paul Milton

Pupils at a Highland school enjoyed a taste of the daily grind as they received barista training from industry experts.

The budding coffee maestros from Glen Urquhart School are working with Cobbs director and founder of coffee roasting and tea blending business Red Box Coffee, Daniel Campbell, for the specially developed course.

Mr Campbell is a former pupil who went on to attend a hotel management school in Switzerland.

Children attending the course will learn the history of coffee, theory, health and safety and practical barista skills, with a total of 34 students plus staff expected to receive training in 2018.

The initiative saw the installation of a professional coffee machine supplied by Cobbs, with its installation funded by Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) Inverness and Central Highland.

Fraser Campbell, managing director of Cobbs Group, said: “We will be offering regular training sessions at the school over the next few years, with the desire to provide every student with a barista certificate.

“As well as being a valuable life skill, the professional equipment helps raise awareness of the possibilities in catering and tourism and also presents the school with the opportunity to make and sell café-quality hot drinks.

“We’re hoping to expand the programme and install machines in other secondary schools around Scotland to give young people CV enhancing qualifications and skills to earn a living.”

Andy Maxtone, programme manager for DYW, added: “The fantastic training provided by Cobbs has come at precisely the right time.

“The hospitality sector in the Highlands is continuing to grow, and the demand for staff remains high.

“Installing the coffee machine in the school is the perfect way to bring the sector to life in a really engaging way, while also giving young people a skill they can call upon later in life.”