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The SCA Youth Academy program: A scholarship for tomorrow’s coffee leaders

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MILAN – When people think of the benchmark for coffee education, the SCA is the first provider that comes to mind. It has the most established certification program, recognized for excellence amongst a broad range of coffee professionals and businesses. It is also the broadest single provider of education across the spectrum covering green coffee, sensory, roasting, barista skills and brewing through its Coffee Skills Program, and then further education and support through its Guilds.

The Youth Academy program leverages this breadth of courses. It is a scholarship for tomorrow’s coffee leaders. The Youth Academy team do the full range of SCA courses at Foundation level, as well as barista skills up to professional level. It provides the best foundation they could have introducing all aspects of the industry, to help escalate their careers in coffee.

Graduates of the program have moved into manager roles, further education, shifted positions from barista to roasting, and become ASTs.

The program has now run in Italy, the UK, and Switzerland. It will soon be launching in Russia.

The Network effect: How the SCA ‘s education program evolved and continues to thrive

The Coffee Skills Program of the Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) has successfully harnessed the skills and knowledge of industry experts, engaged passionate trainers, and developed the next generation of professionals. It is a virtuous and self-supporting cycle, where members educate members.

We caught up with Yannis Apostolopoulos, the Executive Director of the SCA, who described how this cycle of knowledge and skills sharing creates a network effect that benefits the whole coffee community. We also learned a little more about plans for expanding the program for more stakeholders and the importance of research.