Coffee Academy

We are proud to be supporting our community together with the speciality coffee industry through our Glen Lyon Coffee Academy which is dedicated to helping young people navigating the next steps as they leave school and enter the working world.

Every year we coach groups of school leavers with accredited Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) training in barista skills, as well as helping them gain real-world experience by pairing them with partner cafes.

We also offer a gateway into the coffee industry, which is always looking for young people interested in joining one of the myriad roles from barista, roaster, trainer or green coffee buyer.

Our three-month mentoring programme includes:

  • An introduction to the world of coffee from farm to cup at our roastery in Aberfeldy
  • Two internationally-recognised courses from the SCA: Introduction to Coffee and Barista skills
  • Voluntary work placement at one of a number of local partner cafes. This gives participants essential real-world barista experience, putting their new skills to the test as well as building and honing customer service and team-working skills
  • A final half day refresher at our roastery to cover all knowledge and skills gained over the course. Students will leave the programme with their certificate, hands-on experience, and a personal reference from Glen Lyon Coffee and their partner cafe
The successful group of Academy graduates from 2021

For many young people in rural areas such as Perthshire a cafe job is the first working experience they gain, and jobs for school leavers can be scarce.

This makes the Coffee Academy even more important as it gives participants an extra edge with proven coffee and customer service skills and real-world experience.

The skills and experience that the programme fosters are also transferable to any walk or life or job as it boosts young peoples’ confidence and ability to work as part of a team.

Our pupils at Breadalbane Academy are really excited to be involved in the Coffee Academy partnership with Glen Lyon. The programme offers a fantastic opportunity for our pupils to apply and further develop the employability skills they build with us in school in real workplace environments. It also creates excellent pathways into the thriving local hospitality industry leaving our pupils better placed to secure employment upon leaving school,” said Briony Campbell, Breadalbane Academy Principal Teacher of Home Economics.

The Glen Lyon Coffee Academy is run through the sister charity Project Northern Lights and funders include  Lottery FundingGriffin Windfarm, the Robertson Trust, and the Basil Death Trust.

For more information contact Jamie Grant at