A new coffee shop that gives local people from disadvantaged backgrounds a chance to learn crucial career skills has opened at the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The shop will be staffed by people who have experienced homelessness and other disadvantages. They will be given professional training in areas like food hygiene and can take part in a 12-week barista training programme. The shop was arranged by the ONS and part-funded by the Intellectual Property Office. The two organisations share facilities at their respective headquarters in Newport, South Wales.

The new shop is being launched in partnership with Pobl Group and other local organisations, who will be working to support individuals involved in the programme. The hope is that this will be used to teach new skills with professional qualifications that can help to improve local people’s employment prospects.

Scott Howell, Divisional Director of Business Enablers at the ONS, said: “It is great that we’ve been able to give back to the community with this new shop. I’d like to thank all the organisations we’ve worked with to make this possible and to ensure we are helping support disadvantaged local people.

“With around 3,000 employees based in our offices here in Newport, we are now one of South Wales’s biggest employers. Through our local partnerships with universities and other organisations, we are working to add value to the community here alongside our mission to provide the country with better statistics to inform better decisions.”

The Pobl Group already have a similar coffee shop in the centre of Newport, One Twelve Coffee. The shop will initially operate as a pilot scheme, but the ONS is already looking into opening a similar coffee shop at its other site in Titchfield, Hampshire.

Notes to editors:

You can download a picture of the new coffee shop from our blog.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), Newport, is the home of the UK’s main economic indicators, including the employment figures, UK GDP and inflation. Over the past three years, new investment has enabled the development of the ONS Data Science Campus and with it, new apprenticeship opportunities for local people to train as data scientists, to work on improving our ability to give in-depth analysis and insight in our increasingly data-focused society. An innovative new set of faster indicators of economic activity was recently launched that present closer-to-real-time insight into the state of the UK economy.

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