Loudoun Academy launches innovative school projects

Loudoun Academy has launched three innovative projects the Barista Express, Boutique Nails and Smoothie Academy that will benefit pupils, helping to get them work ready.

Supported by DYW Ayrshire, The Prince’s Trust Scotland and Ayrshire College the three projects, which are fully kitted out with state of the art equipment, provide young people with vital training and experience within the school environment.

Councillor Fiona Campbell, Cabinet Member for Skills and Learning said: “I was so impressed by our young people who took part in the launch of the three innovative projects. Each training room is very professional and the young people have the opportunity to learn skills that are highly sought after within the hospitality and leisure industries.

“I was also delighted to learn that a fourth project will be launching later this year that will focus on rural skills. This will be a wonderful opportunity to learn skills that can be utilised locally within our agricultural industries.”

Scott Robertson, Head Teacher said: “Accommodation and food and drinks services continues to be one of the highest sectors in terms of employment opportunities locally. I firmly believe that the opportunities pupils will receive within Barista Express and Smoothie Academy will provide meaningful pathways directly into this area of employment, or into further training and education.

“Our Home Economics department are well placed to further education in this field, with opportunities for certification in National 5 Hospitality, Skills for Work Hospitality and even a Foundation Apprenticeship in Food & Drinks Technologies in the pipeline.

“Sales, customer service and personal service occupations are also growth industries within Ayrshire, therefore the inclusion of our Boutique Nail service will also articulate well with opportunities in these sectors.”

Walter Smith, Prince’s Trust Ayrshire Chair said: “Employers are looking for young people who have the core skills known as the 6C’s – confidence, communications, commitment, customer services and customer care and courtesy and we can categorically say that these projects are developing these and other employability skills.

“Surveys conducted amongst young people have indicated that the lack of confidence is one of the biggest problems they face.

“We are again extremely confident that these projects will deliver this confidence and help prepare the young people for the world of work. This will give them the customer service skills that the hospitality sector and other customer facing sectors are looking for based on the evidence we have seen from other similar projects already launched.”

Barista Express, Boutique Nails and Smoothie Academy 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.