New program creates pathways for young people living with varied abilities A few months ago, we launched an industry-specific, job readiness intensive program to support and create pathways for young people living with varied abilities to participate in experiential learning, immersive training and transition into industry traineeships. We called it, Here4Hospitality. After dipping in and out of lockdowns in Melbourne, we are definitely now here-for-hospitality. This week we will not only see the re-opening of our social enterprise café on Hosier Lane (The Little Social), but so too our very first group of Here4Hospitality participants kickstart start their practical component of the program. Seven young people living with varied abilities will now participate in onsite training alongside a specialist Youth Coach who shared with us, “for some of our young people, they’d struggle to be able to leave the house – but here they are now making friends, creating conversations with people they don’t know and taking positive steps towards employment. It has been so heart-warming!” Young people participating in Here4Hospitality are buddied up with an industry mentor and specialist Youth Coach to support them through a 3-week program to build their confidence, learn workplace expectations, strengthen social skills and complete an accredited training skill set from a Certificate II in Hospitality. Whilst we welcome our first group at The Little Social, our second group is about to commence their Barista Training with our program partners at HIVE (Hampton Institute of Vocational Education). Much like the first group, the second group have been impressing our youth coaches having smashed their goal setting sessions, coming up with great new content for us to teach in the program and are eager to get into their workplace placements in December. One of the participants who lives with autism reflected on their experience in Here4Hospitality sharing, “I am gaining more confidence with customer service, talking, and meeting and working with new people. I am proud of myself for trying things that are new to me.” Over the next year, we’ll continue teaming up with HIVE to provide 30 young people living with varied abilities an opportunity to participate in Here4Hospitality to be job-ready and prepared for sustainable employment well into the future. If you own or operate a hospitality or retail business and would like to be part of this life changing program for young people – we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line or give us a call.