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Kāpiti Coast youth full of beans thanks to funding grant

Angus Edwards and Nico Rennison

As hospitality businesses around New Zealand continue to cry out for staff, a Kāpiti Coast charity is stepping up to help train the next generation of baristas.


Zeal provides safe and inclusive spaces for young people, both in person and online, where they can be creative, learn new skills or just hang out, while also offering a range of programmes to help them find work.


Zeal Kāpiti general manager Hamish Campbell says that “as youth workers, we saw many people who were struggling to find their feet after dropping out of school - they were unable to find jobs because they lacked the necessary skills”.


One of Zeal’s most popular programmes is a course that teaches young people the skills needed to be professional baristas.


“We know this sector is crying out for staff, but many young people lack the skills to get a foot in the door,” Hamish says.

Lexi Jefferies

Zeal Kāpiti received a funding grant of $4,440 from the ANZ Staff Foundation, which allowed it to pay for six additional barista programmes, teaching approximately 25 young people industry-standard coffee and customer service skills.


“Running the barista program here at Zeal Kāpiti provides young people with real world skills, increases their confidence and self-worth, while also giving them a great chance of employment,” Hamish says.


For students like Lexi Jefferies, the course not only provided valuable skills, but was a huge confidence boost.


“I enjoyed the barista course because I got to learn how to use a commercial coffee machine properly,” says Lexi.


“I learned why some coffee shots taste better than others, and how to fix extraction issues.


“The course helped my confidence in finding jobs because it was something new I could add to my CV and it helped me get a job in a local café."

Lewis Stewart


Another student, Lewis Stewart, said the Zeal course sparked an interest in the wider hospitality industry, which led to him studying at the Pacific International Hotel Management School.


“I really enjoyed the barista programme because it was integrated through Kāpiti College, meaning it was super easy to access,” he says.


“The course grew my confidence in speaking to customers too.”

"Running the barista program provides young people with real world skills, increases their confidence and self-worth, while also giving them a great chance of employment."

Hamish Campbell - Zeal Kāpiti General Manager




For charities like Zeal, public support is hugely important, Hamish says.


“Receiving funding from organizations like ANZ is amazing and means we can continue to provide this important course for our local young people.”


David Bricklebank, Chair of the ANZ Staff Foundation Advisory Board, said it was inspiring to hear the stories of young people who had been through the course.


“Providing young people with real world job skills is really important - but equally important is the way the courses boost their dignity and self-worth.”


Zeal offers a range of skills development and work-readiness programmes, providing training, mentoring and support at its branches in West Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington and Kāpiti.


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