Lacking experience can be a major barrier to finding a job, particularly if the worker also lives with a disability.
A new Wangaratta cafe aims to help people develop skills along their pathway to paid employment - and also make great coffee.
Where Is My Coffee?, soon to open in the former post office building in Murphy Street, is a social enterprise by non-profit aged and disability organisation VMCH (Villa Maria Catholic Homes).
Ten trainees will be supported by up to 15 hospitality and disability support workers as they serve food and drinks to Wangaratta residents and visitors.
VMCH manager community connections, disability services Harley Dalgleish said setting up the venture had been a six-month process, with the final fittings and details nearly done.
"We've selected our coffee bean, so, you know, that's a big step in the coffee shop," he said.
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Trainees, who need to be registered with the National Disability Insurance Scheme, will be able to participate according to their own goals.
"It's not a blanket rule for anyone," Mr Dalgleish said.
"If someone only has two hours in their plan but they want to learn to work in hospitality, we'll work with them to make it happen."
Cafe team leader Hannah Panter said when employed in disability she saw clients "super keen" to take on some work experience.
"But nowhere was interested in allowing these clients to come in and gain those vital employment skills," she said.
"So when I saw this job role pop up, I jumped on the opportunity."
"It is essentially giving people the head start they need in life in a space they will feel welcomed and a part of the team," she said.
"It is something that is new to the town so I am hoping everyone is as excited as what we are."
Mr Dalgleish said rather than providing ongoing employment, Where Is My Coffee? would teach work and life skills for future jobs.
"My aim would be to see 10 clients working at 10 different restaurants across the region, at bars or cafes," he said.
"This is our opportunity to make them feel safe and secure in their community."
Set up in an established cafe space, Where Is My Coffee? will be launched on December 3, International Day of People With Disability.
"It's a learning process along the way for everyone," Mr Dalgleish said.
"To be a learning hub and a place of hands-on learning, it's a little bit different.
"It's exciting but also nerve-racking because I don't want to let the community down."
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