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12 young people at Oberstown have become certified baristas through a new training collaboration with Java Republic

23 April 2019: Following the recent launch of a collaborative partnership between Oberstown Children Detention Campus and Java Republic, 12 young people at Oberstown have become certified baristas through an on-campus training programme and received their Barista Skills for Beginners Certificate.

Ireland’s only children’s detention centre, Oberstown, provides a safe and secure environment for children who are placed in the campus by the Children Court (usually aged between 13 and 17).

Oberstown aims to build young people’s responsibilities and address the factors associated with their offending behaviour.

The Java Republic programme is a pioneering initiative for the Oberstown campus, which is seeking to expand its educational offering for young people from traditional methods of learning to practical and skills-based training. During 2018 young people have been able to take part in Safe Pass and manual handling training in order to prepare them for certain workplaces.

The coffee education programme from Java Republic involves setting up a mini café area in the Home Economics room and enables young people in Oberstown to meet the market requirements for new baristas. It is designed to give young people information about the coffee industry and have enough confidence to go through a potential trial in a café. Young people taking part in the programme will go through an intensive full-day training session with a professional coffee trainer from Java Republic, certified by the Specialty Coffee Association.

Damien Hernon, Deputy Director of Oberstown: “From the time a young person arrives in Oberstown, we work with them on an individual care plan to prepare them for return to their families and communities. Our young people need practical skills to help them gain employment and this initiative supported by Java Republic has the capacity to provide those skills.

Oberstown is seeking to evolve the focus of its educational offering to more vocational training. 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.”

Each Java Republic training programme includes 3-4 young people with an aim of training up to 30 young people annually. Following the completion of the programme, young people will be issued with a Java Republic Barista Skills for Beginners Certificate of Attendance.

Speaking about collaboration, Java Republic Managing Director Grace O’Shaughnessy said “At Java Republic we are passionate about giving back and are thrilled to have had 12 young people at Oberstown go through the training programme in the first month. I had a tour of the centre and was overwhelmed by the engagement in the barista training. The young people taking part showed so much attention to making each coffee perfect, it was amazing to see a real sense of pride and positivity across the centre. Practical training can help lead to an array of career opportunities and I’m excited to see how this will help young people at Oberstown in the future.” 

As well as the training provided, Java Republic have donated coffee equipment to the Oberstown Campus. This equipment will remain on-site to ensure young people who have completed the course can continue to practise their barista skills after each training session.

Director of Oberstown, Pat Bergin commented: “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.

I look forward to seeing the young people participate in the coffee-making education provided by Java Republic and reaching the same professional barista standards that Java Republic brings to all its training programmes. 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.”

Grace O’Shaughnessy, Java Republic Managing Director, added: “The barista profession requires a lot of continuous practise. It is important trainees have access to the equipment needed to continue expanding on what they have learnt and increase their barista confidence. We at Java Republic are delighted to be providing Oberstown with the equipment they need to put their best foot forward and be confident for future job trials.”