A report from the Beverage Standards Association (BSA) has revealed that 2019 was a successful year for the BSA's approved centres and accredited trainers, who deliver training in barista skills for the City and Guilds qualifications, with a 27% increase from 2018 in the total number of students.
This increase seems to suggest that the modern coffee trade is seen as an attractive career option for newcomers to the catering trade, says training director Martyn Herriott (pictured).
"The majority of those who seek out our barista training are people looking for a new skillset to increase their possibility of getting a job," adds Mike Palliser, who runs the barista training centre at coffee roaster Stokes of Lincoln.
"They see that coffee shops are now extremely popular, and they see that those who have some initial training, or a qualification, have a better chance of getting a job in coffee.
"We work with the Prince's Trust and the Lincoln college to train those who have been struggling to find work, and we see great results in businesses taking them on from our courses. I believe we have managed to help a good majority of people to get jobs in the trade."
Trainer Lorna McCandlish, who who runs the BSA's most successful accredited training centre, at Miko Coffee in Scotland, says that the barista route is attracting new people into the catering trade. She reports that the employment potential of the coffee trade has led to several Scottish schools creating their own coffee shops, either mobile or on school premises, as a way of introducing final-year students to the concept of business and customer service skills.
"I have a healthy stream of student candidates which grows year on year," added McCandish. "Many of them have no idea what they would like to do once they leave school, so we are certainly introducing fresh minds into the industry. The teachers involved in these projects continually comment on the students' increased confidence, work ethic, improvement in communication skills, and ability to problem-solve."