genU/Ford cafe partnership

genU-Ford partnership creates jobs for local people with disability

genU has partnered with Australia’s largest automotive employer to deliver food services at three of Ford Australia’s onsite cafes, creating job opportunities for people living with disability.

Food operations at Ford’s Lara Proving Ground, Geelong Research and Development Centre, and Melbourne’s Campbellfield Asia-Pacific Product Development Centre are now managed by genU’s Business Enterprises. This partnership will create employment opportunities for up to 20 people living with disability who will work as baristas, in food preparation and in customer service.

“This is a great example of our commitment to creating and delivering services and support that empower people with a disability to reach their full potential,” genU CEO, Clare Amies said.

“It’s also our first opportunity to directly employ people with disability in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, so an exciting prospect as we expand our footprint across Australia.

“Our experienced staff are supporting the cafes during the initial transition period and recruitment of supported employees, people with disability, will commence in February,” said Amies.

Ford Australia President and CEO Andrew Birkic said the partnership with genU is an extension of the company’s ongoing work around inclusion and disability.

“We are working hard to make Ford a place where people living with disability are welcome and included. Having genU’s supported employees find a job they love alongside our Ford team is another way we can help to break down barriers around disability, especially when it comes to employment.”

Employment rates for people with disability are less than half when compared to those without disability. As an organisation founded on building inclusive communities, several genU services focus on creating more employment opportunities for people with disability. Like Aaron, who has been employed by genU Business Enterprises for more than seven years. The Barista and Café All Rounder currently works in the genU Support Hub Season’s café and is renowned for his exceptional upselling skills.

“The best part of my job is making the coffees and upselling the muffins!” Aaron said.
“I get to be more social and have learned to cook new things. It’s built my confidence and I’m always happy. It makes me smile,” he said.

While employment is a key advantage of the Ford Australia-genU partnership, the community benefits don’t end there. As a ‘profit-for-purpose’ organisation, genU reinvests its surpluses to deliver a diverse range of services to support people with disability and/or mental health challenges, ageing Australians, students, and the unemployed. This means that every café purchase will do good – not just for the employee with disability, but also for local residents accessing genU support.