Plans are brewing for a new cafe to help vulnerable western suburbs youth break the poverty cycle.
Footscray-based Tomorrow Foundation hopes to open The Common Social cafe early next year as a way to help young people find work.
The foundation’s founder and chief executive, Alice Wojcik, said the cafe project could give more than 50 refugees, asylum seekers and young migrants hospitality training and employment each year.
She also plans to open up industry networking and mentoring opportunities.
Ms Wojcik says the not-for-profit organisation wants to tackle the employment barriers faced by young people.
“We wanted to have a practical answer for some of the issues we see for people finding it hard to get their foot in the door when seeking employment,” she said.
“Being in Melbourne, we have a really big cafe culture her so we saw this as an obvious way we could provide training and experience in hospitality.”
Ms Wojcik says the barriers include having English as a second language, not being able to tap into established networks, and lack of confidence or awareness of the best way to find work or gain experience.
Program participants will be drawn from families already in contact with the Tomorrow Foundation and through connecting with schools and other organisations.
“We would love for it to be in Footscray. We are working with a lot of families in this area so it makes sense, but ultimately it will come down to what comes up at the time,” Ms Wojcik said.
Ms Wojcik said she would love to hear from anyone with experience or skills in the fit-out or establishment of a cafe who may be able to assist in getting the idea off the ground.
An online fundraising campaign aimed at finding $25,000 to set up the cafe is at: www.chuffed.org/project/thecommonsocial