Coffee chain ‘changes lives’

2017-12-12 06:00
PHOTO: Kalisha NaickerAubery Hlongwane, Starbucks Coffee Master.

PHOTO: Kalisha NaickerAubery Hlongwane, Starbucks Coffee Master.

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WHEN one thinks of Starbucks you immediately think the “coffee capital of the world”, yet there is more to Starbucks than meets the eye.

The coffeehouse chain is changing lives around the world, one store at a time, with their Changing Lanes programme.

Aubery Hlongwane, Starbucks Coffee Master, chatted to Fever about the new store in Durban and the impact the programme has had on the community.

“We launched our new Starbucks Reserve Bar in Florida Road last week and the response has been amazing.

“When employed at Starbucks, you are more than just another number, you become a partner.

“Our partners are at the heart of our company and we aim to develop each individual to their maximum potential,” he said.

Hlongwane said Starbucks’ aim is to create empowerment and make people self-sufficient by offering them skills.

He said in South Africa the unemployment rate is rising and Starbucks decided to change this.

“Our Changing Lanes initiative is a job-readiness training programme positioned to bridge the gap between unemployed youth and work opportunities.

“We face an imbalance between needed and available skills.

“Changing Lanes is a programme to build entry-level knowledge and skills that enable preparedness into newly created jobs in the communities we serve,” he said.

Hlongwane said through the programme they want to attract, retain and develop talent in Starbucks SA.

“We offer learning modules and on-the-job coaching to support the development from unskilled, no work experience to expert baristas and coffee masters.

“We recruit candidates between the ages of 18 and 25 to be part of the Starbucks family.

“These partners receive training in the art of brewing the perfect cup of coffee, delivering customer service in the way that only Starbucks can deliver and support through various training modules to ensure personal and career growth.

“Job creation and skills development is a vital component of our overall business strategy.

“This approach contributes to the economic value in a way that also creates value for society by addressing current needs and challenges.

“We believe this is a sustainable approach of doing business in South Africa.”

At the Florida Road outlet, 20 staff, who were previously unemployed, have now acquired skills to be part of the Starbucks family.

Next time you enjoy that cup of “love” from Starbucks, be mindful of those who acquired the skills to make it.

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