16 young offenders in Oberstown to be trained to become baristas each year

Some of Ireland’s highest-risk young offenders are to receive professional training towards working careers as baristas under a new initiative.

Oberstown Children Detention Campus has entered into a partnership with Java Republic in which up to 16 juveniles will undergo training with the coffee company every year.

The initiative is part of efforts at the country’s only detention centre for children to develop skills and training opportunities for juvenile offenders before they leave the north Dublin facility.

The barista starter training programme is due to commence in Oberstown in April and will involve a professional coffee trainer from Java Republic and the provision of industry equipment.

News of the project emerged during a visit to the campus by the Irish Examiner, detailed in today’s special report inside.

Oberstown described it as a “pioneering” initiative to address reoffending through an expanded education and training service to include more vocational skills.

It is anticipated that up to 16 juveniles will be trained annually, with Java Republic donating the coffee equipment.

“Oberstown is seeking to evolve the focus of its educational offering to more vocational training,” said Damian Hernon, deputy director of Oberstown.

This programme and others like it in Oberstown are about giving young people the best possible chance to move on with their lives in a positive way after they leave Oberstown. Java Republic’s support in providing equipment and training resource will allow us to expand the range of ongoing learning opportunities we offer to young people.

In the sessions, students will learn, among other things, about different species of coffee, roasting, brewing methods, how to use the espresso machine, professional techniques, grinder settings, milk texturing and 'Latte Art'.

Participants who complete the course will obtain a Java Republic Barista Skills for Beginners Certificate.

Oberstown director Pat Bergin said:

“We are committed to helping young people to address their reoffending behaviour through learning and development across a range of programmes with the aim of reintegrating them back into the community, capable of making a positive and productive contribution to society.

“This is a very beneficial initiative for both organisations who will share the value of offering this skillset to young people so that they can return to the community with the chance of gaining employment.”

Java Republic managing director Grace O'Shaughnessy said: “Coffee is an industry in high demand and training is becoming very important when it comes to hiring new staff.

“At Java Republic, we are passionate about giving back to young people and are excited to offer Oberstown a practical training opportunity which can help lead to an array of career opportunities.”

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