Kick Start Café rolls on to construction sites
These shiny mobile food trailer not only serve great food, but if a Sydney-based foundation achieves its goal there will be one on every construction site, not only feeding hungry workers but also kick-starting young people’s careers.
The Kick Start Café program, which was originally backed by leading property and investment company PAYCE, provides employment and training opportunities to young people facing barriers to employment.
The first café was set up at the Washington Park development in Riverwood, in Sydney’s south-west but now the social enterprise supported by the recently established PAYCE Foundation is going mobile.
The PAYCE Foundation has backed the construction of a fleet of food trailers which can be set-up at building sites around Sydney.
The project was officially launched at a Property Council of Australia briefing at the Museum of Sydney in Bridge Street, Sydney.
The original program was so successful it is hoped that more young people will get the chance to forge a career in hospitality.
“Our vision for Kick Start Café is to help young people feel truly supported by their community,” PAYCE Director Dominic Sullivan said.
“Each individual can explore his or her unique strengths and talents, which in turn builds confidence and a sense of self-worth.”
Mr Sullivan said that every construction site needs to provide a café/canteen facility to cater for workers.
“The Kick Start Café food trailers will provide a quality, flexible and sustainable solution which is based on a partnership model that successfully addresses youth unemployment,” he said.
“We are looking to partner with construction companies who want to assist young people get a start in life.”
The trainees are supported by experienced chef Shane Hillard.
“I am very excited that with an ever expanding number of trailers over the next few years we will be able to train and employ hundreds of people and prepare them with essential life skills,” he said.
In lower socio-economic suburbs youth unemployment can be as high as 40%.
Under the Kick Start Café program, young people attain a qualification in barista training before moving to a Certificate III in Hospitality and then transition to employment.
Among those who have completed the course is Ravin Lotomau.
“The café is a very safe and comfortable place to learn,” Ravin said.
“The chef didn’t just teach us about cooking, he was also a great mentor in preparing us for the workforce.”