Case Studies

Glen Lyon Coffee Academy

Glen Lyon Coffee Academy

Glen Lyon Coffee

Name of Project

Glen Lyon Coffee Academy

What is your role?

My name is Jamie Grant, and I am both a Director of Glen Lyon Coffee and the project co-ordinator for the Barista Academy

Key Facts

Glen Lyon Coffee launched a new Coffee Academy in January 2021, dedicated to helping school leavers in Perthshire develop skills in the hospitality industry. The Academy is being administered by the partner charity Project Northern Lights.

During the two-year pilot project, 16 students from S5 and 6 at Breadalbane Academy will be offered a three-month mentoring programme along with training to find work as skilled baristas.

Supported by youth charity Project Northern Lights and funded by the Griffin and Calliacher Community Fund, The National Lottery Community Fund and the Basil Death Fund; the project delivers accredited training and supports young people in their journey from education and into work.

How did the Project develop?

Café work is often the first stepping stone for young people into the world of work and there is real demand in the hospitality industry for employees with barista skills and experience in customer service. Beyond barista work this programme will be an introduction into the whole coffee industry which always has openings for young people in the international supply chain.

Participants will kick off their training with an introduction to the world of coffee and an in depth look at the journey from farm to cup at the Glen Lyon Coffee Roasters in Aberfeldy. Project participants will have the opportunity to work through two internationally accredited courses by the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) and leave with certifications they can carry forward to their future roles. These certified courses are:
- Introduction to Coffee
- Barista Foundation

Local partner cafes have already signed up to support this project and offer voluntary placements to allow learners to build up references for potential employers.

Is the Project sustainable? How do you see it developing in the future?

If successful, the project will scale up to include secondary schools across Perthshire.

Breadalbane Academy is thrilled to be the partner school for the initial two-year pilot of this project, many of our pupils are really excited about getting involved in the speciality coffee industry which has become very attractive to young people in recent years

Monica Young, Project Officer for Breadalbane Academy

Did you incur any costs?

This project is fully funded by our funding partners

Did you get other organisations/partners involved?

Breadalbane Academy
Project Northern Lights
Griffin and Calliacher Community Fund
The National Lottery Community Fund
Basil Death Trust

Do you have any advice for practitioners thinking about organising something similar?

This project is a pilot that if successful it could be replicated in other sectors. School leavers need more than qualifications to help them transition from school into the world of work. They need support with developing the right soft skills and confidence to win over potential employers. This three-month mentoring programme offers a blend of training with certified qualifications, work experience and encouragement to help develop confident and resilient individuals who are ready to face the challenges of team work in a fast paced and pressured cafe environment.

Contact Details

Jamie Grant, Glen Lyon Coffee,


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