Café role gives confidence a good lift

Tue 13 December 2016

Ben at work pushing a trolley with boxes of red rock deli chips

Ben Dominish has been looking for work for ‘too long’. Eight weeks ago he commenced working as a café assistant with Compass Group, a leading hospitality and services company who provide services at Westpac Group’s corporate offices in Barangaroo.

“I found it difficult to find work. I struggled to get interviews because most applications are just online. I want to meet people face to face. It was very stressful,” he explains.

“I think my disability put other employers off after I disclosed it to them. I think they just don’t understand. Compass and Westpac have been good, because they understand,” he added. ‘I can be open about my disability.”

His role is part of an innovative program called High Growth Jobs Talented Candidates (HGJTC) that matches skilled workers with disability with employers looking for candidates to fill roles in high growth areas. The aim is to create sustainable employment outcomes by matching the right candidate to the right role.

Day to day, Ben is required to restock the fridge in the café as well as provide extra support on the other levels. He is also expanding his skills through extra training.

“It is a good lift up to have this opportunity. It has given me a confidence boost and I didn’t have to rely on family. I did it myself,” he said.

The Australian Network on Disability worked with Compass to support managers to improve their confidence to recruit and work with people with disability as well as adapted the recruitment process so the interview was more informal and Ben could have a support person with him.

His appointment, is just one of the roles recruited as part of Compass Group’s commitment to employ 20 people living with disability by July 2017. 

As part of the process Ben attended a four-day pre-employment training co-run by the Australian Network on Disability, MAX Employment and Compass Group.

“I’m still in contact with the others who did the training. I’ve made good friendships and I’m really enjoying my life. It feels so good to have an income and not rely on the disability support pension,” said Ben. “It’s about meeting people, working hard, and having fun.”

HGJTC is an initiative of NSW Department of Family and Community Services (FACS). It is being delivered by the Australian Network on Disability. Social Ventures Australia provided the growth industry research and is undertaking the evaluation.

About the Australian Network on Disability

Founded in 2000, the Australian Network on Disability is a national, membership based, for-purpose organisation, that aims to advance access and inclusion of people with disability in all aspects of Australian business, including; employment, customer service, stakeholder relations and supply of goods.

Member organisations have access to a network of highly skilled relationship managers and training consultants, who are experts in providing training, advice and resources to support disability access and inclusion.


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