Marley Coffee UK Future Barista programme, helping young people to up-skill and connect to employment opportunities through coffee, took centre stage at this year’s 17th annual MOBO Awards sending a team of young local people from East London to serve Marley organic coffee to performers, VIPs and media.

The programme, working in partnership with a range of charities including Crisis, Switchback and Springboard Hackney is focused particularly on encouraging ex-offenders, care leavers and other marginalised young people to access opportunities in coffee and beyond.

Inspired by Marley Coffee UK’s commitment to supporting local community programmes, Future Barista delivers short, sharp coffee skills sessions with a focus on increasing young peoples’ awareness of the career opportunities available to them in coffee (from beginnings as a junior barista right through to engineering and business management). Through structured volunteering, accredited training and access to paid work, Future Baristas then go on to develop their passion and skills.

Future Barista, Vaughn, 20, from Hackney explains, “Four months ago I was at home with no plans for my future until a friend told me about Marley Coffee UK Future Barista. I did the training, some volunteering and got invited to work at some exciting London events during the summer. Next thing I’m backstage working at the MOBOs. It has been hard work but I’ve been inspired seeing so many focused people.”

Marley Coffee UK Head of CSR and Future Barista Project Lead, Andy Gold, adds, “The Future Baristas have done a great job, both learning and growing as leaders. Working with so many successful people from the world of music, fashion and business has made it a really inspiring experience that will be with them throughout their careers.”

Marley Coffee UK Future Barista programme is currently seeking partners to roll out the initiative on a wider scale and create more hands-on training opportunities for young people.

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