Housing NSW has funded a project at Dubbo TAFE Fitzroy Street campus to enable young people who live in social housing to gain skills and experience in the hospitality industry.
The project has involved a $174,000 upgrade of a fully functioning commercial kitchen and café facility at the campus.
The social enterprise café will support young people (predominantly MIAN school students) as they experience working in and operating a commercial environment.
The improved facility will increase the opportunities for training, skilling and mentoring young people living in social housing to improve their employment opportunities and promote social inclusion
Housing Minister David Borger said, "Housing NSW's partnership with TAFE Western in Dubbo will help meet the needs of social housing residents by improving hospitality, financial, communication, literacy and numeracy skills."
"The project aims to enhance residents' life skills and sense of self worth through education and social participation.
"We are hoping to provide increased opportunities for local employment and break the cycle of intergenerational unemployment experienced by many social housing residents in Dubbo.
"The program will also focus on strengthening and formalising genuine supportive and constructive links between the Dubbo business community and social housing residents through a business mentoring program offered to participants.
"The issues of high unemployment, particularly for young people and for Indigenous youth, are critical and require immediate attention in order for community regeneration to succeed.
TAFE Western Institute Director, Adrian Mitchell has welcomed the initiative. He said, "I believe that the partnership in Dubbo with Housing NSW to establish the new café will bring great benefits to the young who will have an opportunity to gain valuable work experience and training aligned to future employment.
"The Dubbo hospitality industry generally is experiencing high labour demand and skills shortages."