Student-led Coffee Shop Opens in Arran High School

A new Arran High School initiative, aimed at training and empowering the future workforce, has resulted in pupils opening up a coffee shop.

The initiative is a collaboration between UHI Argyll, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), and pupils under the tutelage of Karen McGrath.

The Coastal Cafe will be open to the public every Tuesday, between 2.15pm - 3.30pm, and will offer a range of speciality coffees and drinks, all served by the pupils.

Representatives from DYW, business ambassador Walter Smith MBE and Wilson Barrie, visited the school to launch the new venture, which will see any profits going to school funds for activities, as well as providing support for local charities. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Mr Smith said:

"We believe that the Coastal Cafe project will significantly assist in the development of employability skills, known as the soft skills, in the young people taking part in the project. Employers are looking for young people who have core skills known as the six Cs – confidence, communications, commitment, customer skills, customer care and courtesy. We must congratulate the school, the pupils taking part, head teacher Susan Foster and Karen McGrath in particular, for their efforts in getting this highly commendable project implemented at Arran High School."

UHI Argyll Arran Centre Manager, Judi Worthington, also joined pupils at the Coastal Cafe launch to wish them well as many of the students are undertaking a Skills for Customer Care SQA unit with the college.

"It’s been really great seeing this project come together. I worked closely with Karen McGrath and DYW Ayrshire to develop the learning and teaching aspect of this initiative. UHI Argyll has 24 pupils enrolled on an SQA unit Skills for Customer Care which is delivered by us during the Tuesday afternoon ‘wider achievement’ timetable slot. It means that they receive a relevant qualification in addition to the valuable hands-on experience working in the café."