Local training provider REDI.E for uplift

A not-for-profit café in Dubbo will empower even more young people courtesy of a major investment from the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund.

Member for the Dubbo electorate Dugald Saunders has today announced $285,607 for the Regional Enterprise Development Institute (REDI.E) to upgrade Wilay Café – its central hospitality training and employment hub in Dubbo.

“Since opening its doors in 2020, Wilay Café has provided paid employment to about 50 people, and many of those have been young people in their first job,” Mr Saunders said.

“This funding will allow REDI.E to upgrade the facility here to cater to more customers, while also modernising the equipment the young people are using to hone their skills.

“The hospitality sector right across our region is crying out for staff, and this café is a fantastic training ground for young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to build their confidence as they enter this bustling industry!”

REDI.E also operates the café at the Dubbo Regional Livestock Markets, and runs capacity-building programs across Western NSW, including the supermarket at Wilcannia.

“When you come from a remote community, there’re limited places for you to learn these practical skills,” Mr Saunders said.

“REDI.E provides school-based traineeships to young people in places like Goodooga and Wilcannia.

“Our young people are the most important resource we have in our western communities, and by investing in them and giving them this practical foundation, they’re more likely to stay and use their new skills in their own communities!’

REDI.E general manager Peter Gibbs said “every cent” of the grant will be spent with local trades and suppliers.

“We’re so excited to receive this grant. This is so much more than the $285,000 – this is training, giving our young people high level hospitality and customer service training and most importantly confidence – that’s the key,” Mr Gibbs said.

“There’s no better place to learn than at the coal face, and more customers means more employment opportunities for local people. “This grant is so welcome, you couldn’t have timed it better! It would have taken us a long time to save that money so this fast-tracks everything, so we’re so thankful to Dugald and the state government

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