Costa Coffee, the Whitbread-own chain, has opened its first Costa Academy in Southampton, aimed at creating apprenticeships and training opportunities for unemployed youngsters. The new academy, which will comprise a practical room, with coffee machines for barista training and a theory room, is a £29k joint investment between Costa and the local Junior Chamber of Commerce. Costa hopes the academy will support those not in employment, education or training (NEETs) by equipping them with new skills and qualifications. A spokesman for the company said: “We hope it will really help those who will leave school this summer with little or no qualifications, and give them opportunities to become apprentices in one of the 25 Costa stores regionally. “The new academy will provide a second chance for young people to equip themselves with real qualifications, honing the skills they need to work for companies like Costa as well as giving them valuable life skills.”