The first project, Bean and Gone is a fully equipped community café based within the school. The café is the perfect location for pupils to learn practical hospitality skills. Pupils working in the café and two of their teachers have already gained City and Guild Level 2 certificates in Barista Skills, with their training provided by Miko of East Kilbride.
Learning practical skills within a supportive environment helps our young people to become workplace ready and improves their employment prospects within the hospitality sector.
Young people from the school have also had the opportunity to learn practical beauty skills in a specially created nail bar called Perfectly Polished. Run in partnership with Ayrshire College, the nail bar is providing young people with the opportunity to develop a wide range of customer service and care skills. They have already gained certificates in customer care and will be working towards further qualifications next year.
Depute Provost Claire Leitch and local member Councillor Neil McGhee joined Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning at the launch of the projects. Cllr Campbell said: “20 pupils have been selected to participate in these wonderful projects this year. The young people have had an incredible opportunity to learn a range of practical skills, including customer service, barista skills and technical nail skills. They also developed their own branding, with the support of Largs Printing Company, displaying the range of skills and talents that our young people possess.
“Ensuring that our young people are workforce ready is a key commitment of the Council. Within Education we are thinking innovatively and with our partners are ensuring that our young people have every opportunity to succeed.”
Claire Baird, DYW Ayrshire Project Executive added: “We are delighted to support these two innovative projects at Auchinleck Academy, in partnership with The Princes Trust and Ayrshire College. The aim of these projects is to develop employability skills in our young people. In addition, they achieve accreditations which support them with the transition to their future career.”
Walter Smith, Chair of the Prince’s Trust, Ayrshire said: “It was an absolute delight to see the young people participating in these innovative projects demonstrating the new skills they have already gained such as confidence and customer service in addition to already gaining qualifications in Barista Skills and Customer Care."
Both projects are funded by Developing Young Workforce Ayrshire and the Prince’s Trust Scotland Development Awards through the Scottish Government Young People Initiative and the Cash Back for Community Fund.