When you order your latte or flat white at The Study Break Cafe in Hāwera, your caffeine fix is coming with a side of learning for the staff there.
Study Break is a WITT Training Café based in Hāwera for students who are studying for their Food and Beverage Level 3 qualifications.
Students from Taranaki high schools are learning valuable skills in hospitality.
Tutor for food and beverage in Hāwera, Peter Lang, says the students are studying the level three New Zealand certificate in food and beverage.
"The students also get an international qualification through City and Guilds. This allows them to work in resorts and hotels. The qualification is recognised all over the world."
The students study at the WITT training cafe in Hāwera on Mondays and Tuesdays. This part of the 3+2 programme WITT offers. Three of the students attend Hāwera High School for three days and then gain experience at the cafe for two days.
"The 3+2 programme is part of an initiative where Year 13 students do three days at high school and two days of tertiary study. This enables the students to get a foot in the door with hospitality."
Peter says the students are very good at what they do.
"Each day the students experience the different roles in a cafe. They take turn running the cafe, running the kitchen and being the supervisors and managers."
The students serve people who stop in for food and a drink.
"The support of the community is vital to these guys. It offers experience while they're working. For us, it is giving the students what they need. There are great deals for the customers as it is all about interacting with our students."
The students have their exams in October where they will be earning their qualifications.
Peter says the students have built up a lot of confidence while being part of the programme.
"Their competency levels are really good. They're in a stage where they can handle everything."
Kayla Hitchcock (18) says she enjoys the friendly environment that she trains in.
"It offers great experience for a working environment."
■ A condensed 10-week free course is being offered at the Study Break WITT training cafe in Hāwera from October 14. Participants will receive the New Zealand certificate in food and beverages.