Yellow Submarine is now a well established training provider in Oxfordshire for people with Learning Disabilities and Autism. We offer ambitious, dynamic training through real-life work experience, in a safe, supportive environment.

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Our cafes are our classrooms, and our trainees are at the heart of everything we do. Trainees learn every aspect of cafe work, from serving on the till to stacking the dishwasher and emptying the bins!

70,000 customers each year visit our cafés because of the quality of the coffee & food. It just ‘so happens’ that they may leave with a different perception of ‘disability’ too.

Life Changing Bakes provides a non-customer facing training environment for our trainees and celebrates their creativity, precision and accuracy. Our trainee bakers help to provide all of the cakes we sell in our cafes, as well as all of the stock for our online shop.


How does a Traineeship work?

The Yellow Submarine traineeship is perfect for those who are ready to think about transitioning from education to employment. 

Our training programme offers real life work experience within our social enterprise cafes and Life Changing Bakes project. Trainees receive supportive, individualised training with a focus on increasing life skills, confidence and independence, and our educational provision enables the young person’s EHCP to remain active.

Phase 1

  • 6 Months 

  • Prior to enrolment, full suitability assessment takes place

  • 'New starters' entry programme

  • Gradual introduction to the world of work

  • Work experience shifts in 1 cafe

  • One-to-one training offered on all aspects of cafe work 

  • September and March intakes

Phase 2

  • 12 Months 

  • Places exclusively granted to those who successfully complete Phase 1​​

  • Opportunities for involvement with Life Changing Bakes

  • Work experience shifts in both cafes

  • External work experience placements arranged

  • Individualised support moving onto 'next steps' beyond Yellow Submarine


Trainees attend for  around 20 hours per week. This time is split between group learning and shifts in the cafe, usually over 4 days.


During phase 1, trainees work in one cafe. If they progress to Phase 2, there are opportunities for travel training, providing the chance to apply what they've learned in a new environment.


Places can be funded when a trainee has an EHCP and meets the required criteria.

In such cases where this is not possible, alternative arrangements can be explored, including 
private funding options

Find out more about
our supporters


We believe in learning through doing. All trainees work as members of the cafe team, and gain valuable, real-life work experience over an extended period of time.


Trainees work towards an ASDAN qualification in employability ranging from Entry level 2 to Level 2


Travel training, advice and guidance on managing money and online safety are just a few of the essential life skills we cover. We place an emphasis on developing social skills and building confidence as we recognise that these are difficult for some, but essential for living life to the full.


Our Traineeship and cafes are supported by grants from a variety of charitable trusts for which we are very grateful 

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Where are they now?

Find out where our trainees went after graduating...

Paid employment

Graduated 2016

Paid employment
Marks + Spencers

Graduated 2018

Paid employment
Yellow Submarine - IT dept.

Graduated 2020


"We have seen such a change in B since he started at Yellow Submarine. He used to really struggle to get out of bed in the morning and took very poor care of himself. He now takes such pride in getting up and ready for work each day. He is much more confident and can now communicate with people that he doesn't know."


Parent of 'B'