Lou's Cafe in West Kempsey has recently partnered with Key Employment to help give people with disabilities a chance to enter the workforce.
Jacoba Rudder and Sarah Fry have spent the last few weeks undertaking various roles at the business, and Manager of Key Employment Lisa Reed says the results have been a boon to everyone involved.
"Lou and his staff have been very accommodating and supportive; they've created an environment where the girls are thriving and loving every minute of their work," Lisa said.
"The business has gained two new eager workers, and our clients have been given a chance to enter the workforce.
"It's great to see, securing any form of employment can be life-changing for someone with a disability or long-term medical condition."
Key Employment and Lou's Café have had a long-standing working relationship, and 2IC Adelle Asgar hopes this will serve as an example to other businesses in the area.
"We have had a working relationship with Lou for over seven years; he has always been very supportive," she said.
"It's great to see another local business committed to creating an inclusive and supportive environment for people with disabilities in our community."
Lou's Café is the latest in a long line of local businesses looking to create a more inclusive workplace, but Lisa and Adelle hope to find more employers in the community interested in offering inclusion for people with disabilities.
"We are seeing an increase in businesses offering work to someone with a disability," Lisa said.
"We have previously had clients go to Macleay Valley nursery in Crescent Head, West Kempsey IGA, South West Rocks IGA; one of our biggest success stories, has been with Multi-Group Motors.
"Our client started working there on work experience and has recently been given a mechanic apprenticeship.
"For a person with a disability to start out on work experience, and then be offered an apprenticeship in a highly competitive field, shows what a person with a disability can achieve with a little support and encouragement."
Key Employment's sole purpose is to ensure all their clients are workforce ready, and Adelle is confident that any prospective employers shouldn't be worried about hiring a person with a disability.
"All of our NDIS clients come with a support worker to help integrate them into the business; there is no pressure or strain on staff for extra training or hours," she said.
"We work with our NDIS and Disability Employment Service (DES) clients for as long as we need to ensure they are ready to go into the workforce before we send them out.
"Any client completing work experience are covered under Key Employment's insurance as well."
Phone Lisa or Adelle at Key Employment on 02 6563 1455 for more information on how you can help your business become more inclusive.
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