Posted on Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Many things go into making the perfect cup of coffee – Canterbury League Club’s donation of $16,991 to Canterbury Vale School’s barista program is equipping local students with the necessary skills, qualifications and experience to be positively contributing to the local community.

Under the school’s Hospitality Skills Program, students are given the opportunity to participate in a barista and café training course over a period of three days, following which they will receive a recognised, accredited qualification to work in the hospitality industry from a Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

Students also have the opportunity to apply their new skills in a real-world situation through scheduled work experience at the school café. The café, set up over 18 months ago, operates on Friday mornings servicing the public, parents, staff and two supporting schools in the Lakemba local area.

Participating students are responsible for all facets of the café’s operation –from coffee making and cash handling to baking, stock maintenance and customer service.

The majority of the Canterbury grant was used to employ a hospitality- trained special education teacher to oversee the school’s café and the necessary barista training for the school year.

“Benefits of the program include, formal qualifications and training for our students, increased engagement and attendance at school, reduced instances of negative behaviours, improved self-confidence and social skills, industry recognised work experience and the ability to engage positively with the wider community,” said Relieving Assistant Principal Michael Bolt.

“The Canterbury donation is greatly appreciated and has afforded the school and its students opportunities and work pathways that would otherwise have been unavailable to them.”

Established in 2006, Canterbury Vale is a Department of Education and Communications (DEC) specialist behaviour school which caters to a maximum of 21 students from Years 7 to 10. The school aims to provide an environment in which vulnerable or disadvantaged students can access a quality education, whilst being supported to make positive learning choices in order to be reintegrated back into a regular school setting.

More than 25 students have participated in the program since its inception and several have continued on to obtain paid work in the hospitality industry.

This is not the first time Canterbury has donated to the Canterbury Vale School.

“This program does more than just teach a student on how to make a good cup of coffee. It is an invaluable tool to help disadvantaged youth develop vital workplace skills, competencies and confidence for the life challenges ahead,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.