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Centre of the Year winner - Yuzu Training

Our Centre of the Year category in our Aspiration Awards recognises a centre that has gone over and above to help its learners. This year’s winner is Yuzu Training, a training provider based in Southampton who impressed the judges with how they have supported their learners with their range of unique apprenticeships and short courses.

Key partnerships

Yuzu Training were recently praised by Ofsted for their significant progress since the pandemic, continuing to provide exceptional opportunities for their learners. A key client of theirs is the Scoff’s Franchise of Costa Coffee, comprising of 95 stores. Their partnership began in 2014 and since then Yuzu Training has helped over 200 apprentices achieve their career goals. Their unique approach to collaborating the Apprenticeship Standards with Costa’s ethics enables them to provide career paths from Barista to Store Manager, gaining an understanding of sustainability and environmental awareness along the way. Yuzu Training also supports the Costa Foundation mission to fund schools in coffee growing communities, giving the opportunity to access safe, quality education.

Supporting Costa’s recruitment campaign, Yuzu Training provide applicants with the opportunity to learn about environmental changes companies can make to live in a more sustainable environment, as well as the changes they can make to their own lives. Yuzu Training also helps to broaden the application pool through their vital partnership with Employment Providers and DWP, which gives long-term unemployed applicants a supportive education programme ahead of their application to Costa.

Praised by Ofsted

Yuzu Training were the first provider to gain significant progress since the pandemic in a recent Ofsted report. As Ruth Cole, Operations Director at Yuzu Training, explained: “This achievement celebrates our learners, our partnerships and of course the commitment and dedication of our key employer. Within the report Ofsted praises Yuzu Training for the vision of leaders to support the hospitality sector by developing competent and proficient managers and team leaders”.

Yuzu Training were also praised for their delivery of the NCFE CACHE Level 2 Certificate in Understanding Safeguarding and Prevent, and their brilliant relationships with employers and local enterprise partnerships. These partnerships are key to help delivery of the courses which tactically meet the economic needs for its regions and ensures their learners have the skills and knowledge needed to progress in their careers.

Ruth Cole, Operations Director at Yuzu Training, said: “Winning this award is fantastic and is to the credit for the amazing work the team, the learners and our key employer Costa Scoffs franchise invest into the success of the centre. It is great to be able to celebrate with all of these essential members of the Yuzu family, especially after the year everyone has had. Many thanks to NCFE for your continued support, Yuzu are absolutely over the moon!”

A Trainer at Yuzu Training who deserves a mention, is Sarah Bourne. Sarah delivers apprenticeships and demonstrates a passion to improve the life-long learning skills of others. She supports her learners to reach their full potential, leading to learners gaining promotion in the workplace and progressing onto further study.

Katie, a learner at Yuzu Training, commented on how Sarah’s training supported them throughout their qualification: “Sarah has been a fantastic support to me through some very challenging times. At the beginning of March, I thought I wasn’t going to complete the course but two months later, with Sarah’s support, I passed with a merit. I can’t thank Sarah and Yuzu Training enough.”

Another learner, Stuart, commented: “Sarah is always there for us and is really understanding. She makes us think about how and why we do things, making training fun and interactive.”