Real Education Centres

What is a visit to one of your Education Centres all about? +

The aim of our Education Centres is to enhance students' knowledge and understanding of various subject areas by offering free of charge visits to local schools, colleges, universities, and learning groups.  We offer presentations with a number of themes, including Business Overview, Manufacturing & Engineering, Science, Design & Technology, and Marketing (these vary from centre to centre; please see the individual Education Centre pages for more details).  Through these visits, we hope to enthuse and inspire young people so that they might consider working within our industry in the future.

Visits take place in the Education Centre, which is intentionally completely unbranded so as not to influence visitors in regard to their soft drink choices.  The Education Centre Managers do not work as sales people, but as teachers who impart their knowledge and understanding of our business and industry to bring to life the world of soft drinks manufacturing.

Each site has strict health and safety rules which must be adhered to in advance of the visit.  Failure to comply with these rules may result in your visit being cancelled on arrival, which causes disappointment and frustration for all concerned. We cannot put the safety of our visitors or employees at risk so please ensure you thoroughly read all pre-visit documentation well in advance of your trip and comply with the rules to avoid any issues on the day. If you are unsure about any aspect of the visit, please contact the appropriate Education Centre Manager.

How much does it cost to visit? +

Visits to our Education Centres are completely free of charge!

Is there a gift shop? +

No; our visits have a very strong educational and experiential focus, and we do not make money from visits, so it would not be appropriate to have a gift shop.  There is therefore no need for the students to bring any spending money.

Is there a museum? +

No; visits take place in the purpose-built Education Centre within our factory.  It's important that all visitors understand that we are not a tourist attraction or museum, but in fact a fully operational industrial site.

Do you have some resources you can send us before/after the visit? +

Unfortunately we are not able to send out the slides we use during the visit.  We do not have pre and post visit resources but we recommend you prepare your students by briefly covering the topics of your chosen presentation before your visit so that the information we provide is more meaningful.

What are the rules for visitors? +

Rules and regulations vary from site to site (find your nearest Education Centre here) but visitors to any of our Education Centres should wear trousers, sensible, flat shoes and no jewellery (except a plain wedding band).  External food, drink, sweets and chewing gum are banned from our sites and should therefore not be brought.  Money is not required as there is no gift shop.

Can I bring my primary school class? +

Visitors to our Education Centres must be aged 12 or above on the day of visit.  We therefore cannot accept bookings from primary schools. This is due to our commitment to responsible marketing as well as the potential dangers of visiting a working factory environment.

How many students can I bring? +

The number of students per visit varies from centre to centre so please see your nearest centre to find out more.  Our minimum requirement per booking is 15 students.

How many accompanying adults should I bring? +

For the health and safety of your group, we require a minimum of two responsible accompanying adults/teachers with each visit, regardless of the number of students you wish to bring.  Groups bringing only one adult/teacher will be refused entry to the site. For large groups (of over 25 students) visting East Kilbride, we prefer 3 teachers/adults.

Can we come early and eat lunch at the factory? +

No.  It is not possible for visitors to our Education Centres to eat onsite.

Your rules seem to be very strict. Why is this? +

All of our Education Centres are situated within working factories, which are industrial environments.  The main priority of our factories is to make drinks, and therefore there are many potential hazards on site.  We have made our factory tour routes as safe as we can, but we must remain vigilant in order to avoid any unnecessary accidents occurring. 

We also have strict rules regarding jewellery, personal belongings and food/drink/sweets/chewing gum in order to minimise the potential of contamination to our products and manufacturing processes.

Do your Education Centres cater for those with mobility issues or learning difficulties? +

Yes.  Access varies depending on which Centre you visit so please contact the Manager of your nearest Education Centre to find out more. 

All of our Centres cater for groups with learning difficulties but please be sure to mention this at the time of booking so the Education Centre Manager can work with you to deliver a suitable presentation and activity.

Is there parking for school buses or coaches at your Education Centres? +

Our Education Centres at East Kilbride, Wakefield, and Sidcup each have a dedicated parking space for one coach or school minibus. There are no dedicated parking spaces at our Education Centres at Edmonton or Milton Keynes. For Edmonton visitors, school buses can usually find a space on Nobel Road near the factory but we advise coaches visiting Edmonton to pull up opposite the main reception, drop the students off, and park at the Tesco superstore five minutes away. Coaches arriving at Milton Keynes should park adjacent to the factory on Northfield Drive and visitors should enter the site on foot. For more specific enquiries regarding parking, we suggest you contact the appropriate Education Centre Manager directly.

Back to top

The Real Business Challenge

What is the Real Business Challenge? +

The Real Business Challenge (RBC) is an enterprise initiative where students work in teams to tackle a business challenge set by Coca-Cola European Partners. The challenge is designed to give students an opportunity to practice skills that will give them a competitive edge in the job market, from teamwork to presentation skills. 

Who is the challenge for? +

The Real Business Challenge is open to all secondary schools, It is open to students who will be in Year 9, Year 10, S2, or S3 at the start of the 2015/16 academic year.

Although the challenge is one from the world of business, it seeks to develop enterprise skills and we would recommend it for any learner, regardless of whether or not they take Business Studies.

How did the Real Business Challenge come about? +

Building on a strong track record of schools outreach in East Kilbride and the foundation of our Wakefield Education Centre, the first Real Business Challenge (RBC) was launched in Yorkshire in 2003, in order to bring business into the community.

How long does the challenge take to do? +

The challenge is designed to give teachers maximum flexibility in how they run it. Some schools suspend the timetable and run the challenge with the whole year group over the course of a day. This is ideal. However, schools can also run the challenge perfectly well with smaller cohorts over the course of a couple of lessons. You know your timetable and your students - it is up to you to look at the resource and run it how you see fit.

Does Coca-Cola provide any support? +

Coca-Cola European Partners provides the resource (including certificates) and the incentive (the chance of qualifying for a regional final and to work with a global brand on a live project) but we leave it to schools to run the initial challenge independently. We do not send business representatives out to schools to support the running of the challenge.

Teams that reach the regional finals will be supported by Coca-Cola European Partners business volunteers throughout the day.

What do I/the students need to submit to Coca-Cola to stand a chance of getting to a regional final? +

Student teams should submit a PowerPoint presentation of no more than 12 slides. Guidance on what should be contained in the presentation is given in the RBC resource pack.

Does downloading the resource pack obligate me to take part in the challenge in any way? +

No. We'd love you to get involved but you don't have to.

When do we/students need to submit their entries by? +

Entries must be submitted by 5pm on Friday 25th November 2016.

How many entries can we submit? +

There is a maximum of two entries per school. Often schools that run the challenge across a whole year group will select the best team presentations by running a "Dragon's Den" style competition in school.

How do we/students submit entries? +

Teachers should log in to this website and upload their students' work.

Is there a prize? +

We see the prize as being the chance to go to the regional final, which will be held at a prestigious local venue (venues will be confirmed by September 2016). However, there is no reason why the school cannot offer an additional prize internally.

At the regional final, there will be prizes for the overall winner and runners up and a trophy for the winning team to take back to their school.

Once you have registered, we will keep you updated with news of prizes via email.

When will we/the students know if they have qualified for the regional final? +

Schools will be informed of whether one of their teams has reached the final by 5pm on 15h December 2016.

When and where are the Regional Finals? +

Click here for a full schedule of the regional finals.

Who reaches the Regional Final? +

All entries submitted to Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) will be judged by a panel including senior representatives from CCEP. They will select the best ten entries per region and those teams of students will be invited to their regional final. One of the ten regional final spaces will be reserved for the best of any SEN or ASN entries in each region. NB: Submitting an entry does not guarantee a team from your school will get through to the final. It is a competition. You can submit two entries from your school, but we would ordinarily only invite a maximum of one team per school th a regional final.

What does the Regional Final entail? +

Over the course of the day, the finalist teams will compete in another challenge that will be revealed on the day. All teams will have their own Coca-Cola European Partners Business Mentor to offer expert advice and guidance throughout the day. Students will be required to present to a panel of judges, who will come together to decide upon the winner for the region.

Is there any cost at all to the school? +

No, although you may need to provide cover for a teacher accompanying a team to a regional final and/or transport for students to/from the venue.

How many schools are taking part? +

We don't know yet, but as an indication over 850 schools took part in the Real Business Challenge 2015/16.

Back to top


What is The Real Experience? +

The Real Experience is the name we have given to Coca-Cola European Partners education programme in Great Britain. We have two initiatives as part of The Real Experience: Real Education Centres and The Real Business Challenge.

Why is CCEP investing in an education programme? +

Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) is committed to educating young people about business and enterprise. It is in our interests to open young people'e eyes to manufacturing and related-careers and to support schools with developing skills for greater employability in learners. Many CCEP employees give up time to support The Real Experience; this has real benefits for us as a business in terms of employee engagment and professional development as well as adding real educational value to the programme.

How much money has CCEP invested in The Real Business Challenge programme to date? +

The programme has grown over the last seven years from a relatively small project in Yorkshire to current levels where we expect to invest around £250k in 2012.

How much money does CCEP invest in the Education Centres? +

The annual running cost of each centre is about £50,000 p.a. We also invested considerable capital sums to build the centres to a high specification. The actual capital investment varies from site to site but for example the investment in the Sidcup Education Centre cost about £750,000. 

Is this a long term commitment to supporting education from CCEP? +

Yes, our commitment is linked to our long term vision for the business, focusing on 2020 and beyond.

Back to top

If you can't find an answer to a question you have, please contact us.

Visit a centre


Visit one of our five education centres around Great Britain to learn more about CCEP

Real Education Centres

Get involved!

Info Panel Holding Image

Register here to take part in the Real Business Challenge