A brand new cafe set to open in the Bathurst Trade Centre area next Monday will provide valuable on-the-job experience for people with a disability.
Cafe on Corporation has been convened as a partnership between Generocity Church and Vivability to give the latter's clients the opportunity to commence work placement in a hospitality setting.
Generocity Church pastor Caleb Dwyer said the cafe will allow Vivability clients to build food preparation skills and actively engage with nearby business employees.
"We're ideologically opposed to having a building remain unused for much of the week and since moving in, we wanted to turn this venue into a vibrant community space," Mr Dwyer said.
"Our partnership with Vivability will aim to address the niche market of providing training and employment opportunities for people with a disability."
The cafe will be open from from 7am to 2.30pm, Monday to Friday, with Vivability clients set to operate in rotational shifts each day.
"At any given time, we expect to have two Vivability clients working in the cafe," Mr Dwyer said.
"While they'll be under placement at first, there's opportunities to progress into more permanent roles."
Mr Dwyer said the idea for the initiative came about through an association with Mitchell Smith, a Bathurst resident living with Down syndrome who has a passion to become a barista.
"Mitchell is one of our first staff members, and he has shown plenty of enthusiasm towards this project," he said.
"We hope the placement program will encourage more people to develop a passion for hospitality."
Vivability chief executive officer Nick Packham said the organisation is excited to be involved with the cafe.
"I'm confident the cafe will create great opportunities for people with disabilities in paid work as well as a training hub to gain workplace skills," Mr Packham said.
"The cafe will serve great coffee and food and this is a priority for the business and our customers."