Hotel NewsNewsNews In Brief

Flipping the script for people with disability

Hotel Etico training success sees program intake doubled for 2023

Thanks to a partnership program that helps people with disability set up for long-term career success, six graduates from Hotel Etico, Australia’s first social enterprise hotel staffed by hospitality trainees with disabilities and industry professionals, have now been placed in award-wage paying employment at some of NSW’s most renowned hotels and restaurants.

These include the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney, Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains in Leura, The Mercure Sydney, The Fullerton Hotel, The Humble Bakehouse and Hotel Etico.

Our latest AccomNews print issue is available now! Read it HERE.

Now, following the success of its first cohort, the program has just kicked off its second round, doubling the intake and opportunity for twelve people with disability, all of whom are undertaking a 12-month training program to learn a range of skills.

These skills focus on housekeeping, reception, restaurant, bar and kitchen as well as independent living skills through the Academy of Independence, an on-site apartment where they live and put into practice their new skills.

Hotel Etico Founder and Executive Director, Andrea Comastri

Hotel Etico Australia Founder and Executive Director, Andrea Comastri said he was thrilled to see so many businesses just as excited about employing people with disability as she was.

“Research unfortunately shows that people with disability are not always set up for success in new jobs, and the reasons are multi-faceted,” Mr Comastri said.

“This why we decided to extend our program by 12 months and establish partnerships that ensured employers were supported in providing inclusive and effective workplaces.

“Simultaneously, the employees with disability will have the support needed to have an effective onboarding experience that sets them up for long-term success.”

Andrea Comastri and Hotel Etico students

Fairmont Resort General Manager, Ben Mellor said creating inclusive work environments is critical to the hotel’s business culture, and helps it provide the best level of service to its  customers. 

“Hotel Etico is driving real value and impact in our communities, and we look forward to further developing our partnership as we continue to onboard and employ people with disabilities in ways that empower them to have meaningful and fulfilling careers at our sites,” he said.

With recent data highlighting the lowest unemployment rates since 1974, high numbers of jobs advertised and labour shortages across the hospitality sector, Ms Comastri said  one of the biggest issues for people with disability is that unemployment rates have hardly changed in the last 20 years.

“People with disability are still twice as likely to be unemployed as people without a disability, and are often underemployed and underpaid,” she said.

“We need more inclusive workplaces and greater efforts from employers to train and encourage people with disability to join our workforces.

“But it can’t stop there. Too often, people with disability are put in jobs that end up being short-term because they aren’t receiving the right support or have experienced discrimination in their workplace.

“There needs to be an equal focus on job placements and job success.”

Hotel Etico is  Australia’s first social enterprise hotel staffed by hospitality trainees with disabilities and industry professionals.

Guests of the hotel not only enjoy an authentic holiday experience, they also contribute to a movement breaking down barriers preventing people with disabilities from achieving their full potential.

This is accomplished through an integrated program of on-the-job vocational training, coaching in capacity building and carer support to facilitate a pathway to open employment and improved independent living and social skills.

Pictured (from left to right): Katrina Sneath, Georgia Davidson, Harry Wastie-Pero, Jacob McAndrew, Quinn Jones, and Joshua Gray.



Related Articles

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Back to top button
WP Tumblr Auto Publish Powered By :
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x