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Wyong cafe to benefit unemployed youth

23 February 2017

Wyong cafe to benefit unemployed youth

A pop-up café called Oasis Kitchen has opened at The Salvation Army’s Oasis Youth Network centre in Wyong to provide unemployed youth with work skills.

Oasis Kitchen, which opened on 7 February, will provide young Oasis clients with the necessary skills to work in the hospitality industry, including food preparation, barista training, commercial cookery, customer service, business administration, marketing, team work, first aid and menu planning.

“The idea is to create a safe, nurturing and supportive environment for the students to learn in and to also give them practical work experience,” said the Oasis Youth Network Wyong Manager, Robyn Bust.

“Our young people are going to be gathering a lot of skills and are going to be well-supported in this environment. So we’re really looking forward to this extension of vocational training.”

Robyn and her team had a vision for the Oasis Kitchen concept for many years. Seeing a need to offer employment-training platforms for their young clients, the idea for Oasis Kitchen was born.

“On the Central Coast, youth unemployment is quite high and hospitality is one of the trade areas where there are always job shortages. Also, it’s an easy industry for young people to get into, which is why we were looking to getting into the hospitality industry,” Robyn said.

Along with training unemployed youth, Oasis Kitchen is another way for The Salvation Army in Wyong to connect with the local community. “We also wanted to create a really safe environment for our community to come and share life conversations over coffee [and] have some really nice food,” Robyn said.

Oasis Kitchen was sponsored by local businesses, including major donors, Mingara and Greater Bank. Airpak Sheetmetal, Harrison Packaging and Central Coast Women’s Golf Association also donated to the project and funds were raised through the Army’s Community Christmas Carols event in 2016.

Under the supervision of the Oasis Youth Network Wyong’s Program Coordinator, Jamie Jackson, volunteers from various community services, who assist unemployed individuals with developing skills for the workforce, completed the construction of Oasis Kitchen.

All profits raised through Oasis Kitchen will be filtered back into other programs run by the Oasis Youth Network Wyong.

by Esther Pinn

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