A Melbourne cafe and catering business providing work experience and training opportunities for disadvantaged Australians today received $300 000 from the Australian Government for its important work.
Parliamentary Secretary for Workplace Relations, Senator Jacinta Collins, announced the funding while visiting “The Last Cuppa” cafe and social enterprise, run by Wesley Mission Victoria and located at 660 Elizabeth St in the city.
The Government funding will go to BEST Community Development, a Job Services Australia provider, which will run a new project at “The Last Cuppa”, which will include a takeaway meal service, catering kitchen service and a weekly grocery outlet market.
“The new ‘Catering for all Abilities’ project, being run by BEST Community Development, will provide valuable work experience and training opportunities for up to 60 job seekers with a disability, who are at risk of long term unemployment,” Senator Collins said.
“Participants will also have access to a range of support services including mentoring, vocational rehabilitation, social networks and activities, and community resources.”
The Last Cuppa recently expanded its premises at the newly constructed Common Ground housing project, which provides accommodation for homeless and disadvantaged people.
“The supported housing complex has been designed to meet the needs of job seekers who have experienced long term homelessness, many of whom have a disability or mental illness,” Senator Collins said.
“Through the ‘Catering for All Abilities’ project located on site, the Australian Government’s Innovation Fund will support mentoring, training, work experience and employment opportunities in retail and hospitality for up to 60 job seekers with disability, including residents of the housing complex.”
The project is one of 12 Innovation Fund projects providing assistance to job seekers with a disability, valued at approximately $2.9 million.
The $41 million Innovation Fund contributes to the achievement of the Australian Government’s Social Inclusion Agenda, which includes supporting innovative strategies to help disadvantaged job seekers find and retain employment.
For more information on the Innovation Fund visit: www.deewr.gov.au/innovationfund