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What is Kick Start?

As a hospitality based social enterprise, Kick Start offers a selection of catering services, including operating a fleet of mobile cafes on construction sites around Sydney, whilst providing training and employment opportunities to youth from the local area.

Through these services, we are able to engage and contribute to the local community, whilst offering a high-quality food and beverage service to workers and visitors.

A key part of Kick Start's success is building strong partnerships with the construction industry, youth service agencies and hospitality pathways. Through these partnerships we are creating meaningful employment and training opportunities for youth facing barriers to employment.

Over the coming years, we aim to continue growing our partner network, training program and number of venues, to further increase our impact and support for youth facing barriers to employment.

Our History

Kick Start Café began in 2014 as a partnership between property developer PAYCE and the Riverwood Community Centre, as a response to addressing youth unemployment in the Riverwood area.

The original cafe was positioned next to a construction site in Riverwood serving construction workers as well as the local community, while training and employing disengaged young people from the area.

Kick Start continues to be supported by the PAYCE Foundation to this day, and from our humble beginning supporting a small number of trainees, we have grown to offer a suite of hospitality services supporting up to 40 trainees per year.

Why Youth Unemployment?

The latest census data indicates youth unemployment is at 13.3%, more than double the national unemployment rate. In lower-socio economic areas, youth unemployment can be as high as 30-40%.

The drivers of high youth unemployment vary, but include a lack of jobs (20% of young people are underemployed), locational disadvantage and personal barriers such as mental health, housing and childcare.

Kick Start's social enterprise model recognises the commercial opportunity of running a construction canteen whilst simultaneously providing much-needed employment and training opportunities to disadvantaged youth.

  • Benefits of training youth in hospitality

    • Easy entry point
    • Continued shortage of workers
    • Skills transferable to other industries