We want our coffee, and our love of coffee, to promote training and development among the unemployed youth of South Africa. By purchasing a cup of Blacksmith coffee, each person contributes to the training of new baristas through the Barista Upliftment Programme that is run through the Ciro Coffee Academy. The programme is built around recruiting unemployed and under-skilled South African youths and giving them an opportunity to uplift their lives and learn an important trade – all of which is certified by the internationally accredited training body, City & Guilds.
Our trainee baristas are put through a three-month Barista Upliftment Programme where they are trained to be professional baristas for the service industry. The training is both theoretical and practical and includes programmes such as: The History of Coffee, Coffee Recipes, Taste Profiles and Barista Competition Training. The entire programme’s fees are covered by proceeds generated from the sales of Blacksmith coffee.
There is a lack of skilled baristas in the industry and the Barista Upliftment Programme is an opportunity for Ciro, as a company, to take an active role in up-skilling the important people in the coffee industry through training and employment for individuals who otherwise may not have had the opportunity. Since the programme’s inception in 2015, there has been over 90 trainee baristas that have qualified, nationally, who are now certified baristas.
As part of the ethos of the Blacksmith Coffee Movement, we have identified an additional opportunity to provide deaf candidates an opportunity to be up-skilled in the Barista Upliftment Programme too, by implementing a unique Sign Language menu and culture. This provides an additional platform for both the hearing and hearing-impaired to communicate through coffee. Since January 2015 Blacksmith coffee movement has helped empower 6 deaf candidates and have been placed at a variety of our blue-chip clients.