London’s hospitality industry is a vibrant and exciting place to foster a career and has a wealth of opportunity within it, however there is a growing crisis in finding skilled workers, exacerbated by Brexit. With the divisions in community that can come about through property development, regeneration, and gentrification, The Mixing Class Collective aims to build bridges through vocational training and employment opportunities for young people, centred in Newham. The courses will aim to show participants the potential and career progression within the industry, giving them the skills to prosper and even become small business owners themselves. Not only will there be courses that teach entry level skills, students will be able to come and learn ways to progress their career, from bar managership, to brand ambassadorship to sales rep skills. The goal is not just to fill empty front line jobs, but also to show how fantastic the industry is, and how it can offer a lifelong career.
What we'll deliver:
Why it's a great idea:
The school will be in West Silvertown, left derelict for the last 30 years but soon to be the locus for many new creative businesses set up in shipping containers. The project will operate as a coffee shop & coffee roastery by day, cocktail bar by evening, all staffed by alumni of the school on the London Living Wage. The school will ensure that diverse local Londoners are participants, and will be offering a fantastic quality offering and social hub to the new and vibrant business community. The borough of Newham currently faces enormous poverty and disparity with the rest of London. Job prospects are slim with high unemployment rates. Of the 32 boroughs it is the worst off for the income of its residents and has the highest proportion of residents earning less than the London Living Wage. All employees will be paid this as a bare minimum. It has one of the youngest populations – 13.3% are between 18-24. We hope to give young people hope & purpose.
Steps to get it done:
Using our extensive connections within the cocktail industry we will endeavour to find employment opportunities for graduates of the scheme, in acclaimed and high quality venues across the city. We have garnered support and interest from employers such as Harvey Nichols and the Soho House Group, and we plan to build on this, giving employers the opportunity to make socially conscious hiring choices through the Collective. We would draw on the extensive resources of spirits companies to support the students. The initial groundswell of support from the hospitality community has been enthusiastic and diverse offers of assistance have been made. The business itself would be a pioneering example in bettering sustainability in hospitality, using milk taps on the coffee stations (instead of plastic bottles), hot-composting all coffee grinds and other biodegradable waste (offered to local community gardens or city farms), and attempting to close the loop of waste wherever possible.
About the space
London Borough of Newham