Dominic Sullvan at the Kick Start Cafe Property Coucil Launch in Sydney

These shiny mobile food vans not only serve great food, but if a Sydney-based charity achieves its goal there will be one on every construction site, not only feeding hungry workers but also kick-starting employment for young people.

The Kick Start Café, an initiative of the PAYCE Foundation, provides employment and training opportunities to young people facing barriers to employment.

Kick Start Café is to Help Young People Feel Truly Supported – Dominic Sullivan

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, which is the philanthropic arm of leading property developer PAYCE, has backed the construction of a fleet of vans 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 on the corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney.

The original program at Riverwood was so successful it is hoped that more young people will get the chance to participate in the innovative program.

"Our vision for Kick Start Café is to help young people feel truly supported by their community," PAYCE Foundation 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."

Every Construction Site a Perfect Opportunity – Dominic Sullivan

Mr Sullivan said that every construction site needs to provide a café/canteen facility to cater for workers, and this was a perfect opportunity for Sydney's development industry to participate in meaningful social procurement.

He said that by supporting the Kick Start Café social enterprise, companies can directly address social disadvantage.

"The Kick Start Café mobile trailers will provide a quality, flexible and sustainable solution which is based on a partnership model that successfully addresses youth unemployment," Dominic Sullivan said.

"We are looking to partner with construction and development companies who want to assist young people get a start in life."

Sustainable Model Gains Certification – Dominic Sullivan

"We are serious about addressing youth unemployment through a sustainable model and we are proud to be a Social Traders Certified social enterprise," Mr. Sullivan continued.

The trainees are supported by professional trainers, including experienced chef and mentor 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 young people and prepare them with essential life and work skills," Mr. Sullivan said.

In lower socio-economic suburbs youth unemployment can be as high as 40%.

Mentoring a Key to Success – Dominic Sullivan

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."

For further information: Mark Sutton 0407 918 836.


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