Adrian Beckitt, owner of the Red Square Café in Cambridge Park, employs several staff members with disability.
“People with disability fit in with our team, work hard and are great with our customers,” says Mr Beckitt.
Red Square Café has a welcoming and family friendly atmosphere. They are renowned for their great coffee and food. But 6 years ago when Mr Beckitt took over the business, it was struggling to stay afloat. The café needed to grow, but it was difficult to justify the full wages required to employ staff.
A local disability employment agency, APM, assisted Mr Beckitt to recruit a jobseeker who had experience in the hospitality industry. APM provided a wage subsidy scheme for 6 months to assist in the candidate’s employment. During this time, the business grew and Mr Beckitt’s new employee was a great asset.
Mr Beckitt advises other business owners who are considering hiring through disability employment services to take their time in finding the right candidate for the position, as with any employee. He says employers should screen jobseekers during the interview and recruitment process to ensure the candidate they select will be successful in the role.
The disability employment program requires owners, managers and staff all to be on board with the program, says Mr Beckitt, and managers need to take a genuine interest in their new employee. When these attitudes are taken on, the benefits of employing people with disability are clear.
Mr Beckitt identifies the work ethic he has seen among people with disability to be an important factor in supporting the program. “They are hard workers and want to succeed,” says Mr Beckitt.
Mr Beckitt explains that the disability employment program has been a successful exercise for Red Square Cafe. “It has worked and it has helped us to grow to the next level,” he says. He says he would encourage other businesses to make use of the disability employment program.