South Australia’s largest employer of people with disability is creating new jobs, skills, and pathways into mainstream Employment through its portfolio of Social Enterprises.
Cultivate Food and Beverage is Bedford’s latest Social Enterprise. It employs 35 workers and trainees in a new commercial kitchen and food storage facility in Brooklyn Park, servicing South Australia’s growing food and beverage sector.
Unlike Bedford’s traditional model of providing supported employment for NDIS participants, the new enterprise will recruit people of all abilities – including those who identify as socially disadvantaged.
Bedford CEO Myron Mann notes that it’s hard for people with disability to find meaningful work.
“Working in mainstream employment can be daunting and often lacks the right level of support, which is why Bedford is drawing on its rich history of employment support provision to create opportunities for people with disability who want to earn Award wages.”
“We need to be bold and courageous in our sector. We will invest $50 million over five years to ensure our employees have a diverse range of opportunities and are set up for success and financial security,” he said.
As well as training its own workforce, Bedford used the services of recruitment specialists CEG and the Adelaide Institute of Hospitality.
Cultivate Food and Beverage has already secured commercial partnerships with local and national food producers and is open for business with investors who not only want a financial return, but to also generate a social dividend.
“We want to give back to the community too and some of the meals we make are for those experiencing homelessness.” Mr Mann said.
“This Social Enterprise is the first of several at Bedford and will empower people of all abilities to achieve their life goals and become employable in any kitchen across Australia.”