Funding boost for unique social enterprise

A NOT-for-profit social enterprise that offers hands-on training for people facing significant barriers to employment has received a $30,000 grant through the Skills Tasmania Signature Fund.

The Hamlet Café, located in Hobart, works with disadvantaged Tasmanians to help them gain new skills, including those with a disability, the long-term unemployed and people with low literacy and numeracy skills.

In addition to filling a training gap, Hamlet also provides opportunities for participants to gain skills, confidence and friends, as well as to connect with their community.

Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom said the funding would help Hamlet to expand its café operations to include catering services.

He said this would provide a range of training opportunities and allow the organisation to work with more Tasmanians.

“Whether unable to find work because of physical, social, cultural or language barriers, Hamlet provides the chance for job seekers to get hands-on experience in food preparation and customer service,” he said.

“The Hamlet program provides a supportive environment for participants to experience hospitality work and develop work skills, while also building a local support network.

“This is a great example of the Government working with social entrepreneurs like Hamlet to make a real difference in people’s lives when it comes to employment opportunities.”

Mr Groom said the State Government was committed to helping more Tasmanians find work and would continue to invest in initiatives that provide real skills and connect individuals with jobs and their local communities.

“There are many linkages between Hamlet’s programs and support needs and existing State Growth programs, including Skills Tasmania’s grant and work programs, small business programs, migration and disability support programs and the Population Growth Strategy,” he said.

“Hamlet has had great success with supporting disadvantaged people into work and creating further training opportunities.”

Since opening in April 2016, Hamlet Cafe has seen more than 200 individuals apply to become involved in its programs.

More than half of those applicants have commenced work experience at Hamlet and more than a third of the participants have gone on to find paid employment or continued with further VET training.

For more information about Hamlet Hobart Cafe, visit www.hamlet.org.au.

Caption: From left, Hamlet Hobart Cafe general manager Emily Briffa, Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom and Speaker of the House of Assembly Elise Archer.