Wesley Mission, Suncorp and Darcy St Project brew up employment opportunities

Congratulations to 13 Wesley Mission students who’ve mastered their latte art through completing their part qualification in SIT20316 Certificate II in Hospitality and practical barista training. Students officially graduated at Suncorp Community Café, located inside its Discovery Store in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall on 26 November.

A partnership between Wesley Mission, Suncorp and Darcy Street Project, the community café is a training ground for people who’ve encountered barriers to education and employment.

The students, who come from disadvantaged backgrounds, receive holistic support including financial literacy education and counselling, all while completing a part qualification in SIT20316 Certificate II in Hospitality at Wesley Vocational Institute (RTO Code 90091).

“We’re celebrating because many of you’ve had to overcome enormous obstacles in your own personal lives and I think we should honour that,” said Wesley Mission CEO, the Rev Keith V Garner AM.

“This is a great success story really of many people [who] faced obstacles and beaten them and know what it is to be engaged in doing something that will ultimately, not only give them a certificate of recognition, but lead them to employment.”

Smiles filled Enas and Tareks’ faces as they were handed their graduation certificates by Mr Garner, Suncorp Executive General Manager Chris Fleming, Member of Legislative Council The Hon. Scott Farlow and Founder of Darcy Street Project John Cafferatta. This husband and wife couple completed the hospitality course together after Tarek was injured and could no longer work in construction.

“My husband was in the construction field for over 20 years but it took its toll on his body, so it was a bit hard. So he had to change careers and as a support for my husband, I took the hospitality certificate with him,” explained Enas. “I hope it opens up working opportunities for him as he’s the main provider.”

Alumni student Shahe, who was one of the first students to complete the hospitality course, shared how the study and practical training at Suncorp Community Café has altered his life for the better.

Escaping war-torn Syria, Shahe and his family moved to Australia to start over. After just 10 days in Australia, Wesley Mission organised for Shahe to study hospitality and two months later, he began his on-the-job training at Suncorp Community Café. Shahe now works for Darcy Street Project as a barista trainer and shop manager in Parramatta. He also works as a trainer at Miller Technology High School.

“Doing this course made me gain more confidence and also everything I needed to start working in Australia,” said Shahe.

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