Premier sees results of hard work

Colyton mum Bianca O’Hanlon can now list Premier Mike Baird as one of her customers after she made a coffee for him last week.

The hospitality team leader got a chance to show off her new barista skills during the Premier’s visit to Blacktown to check out Marist Youth Care’s employment programs.

She was a stay at home mum to Kayleb, 6, and a former nightclub manager before she was referred to the employment organisation by her job network provider earlier this year.

Ms Hanlon since completed a six week hospitality course and is now a team leader at a recently opened cafe at the Marsden Park based Sydney Business Park.

The cafe is part of Marist Youth Care’s transitional enterprise program.

‘‘The course changed my life,’’ she said.

‘‘I am now renting my own home and live comfortably. I would have never considered a career in hospitality before the course. I have learnt so much since then.’’

She is guaranteed a job until the end of the year and is serious about a hospitality future.

‘‘I would like to stay on,’’ Ms O’Hanlon said.

‘‘The job is great as it fits in while Kyaleb (her son) is at school. It’s opened up so many doors.’’

Fellow hospitality worker Rhiannon Heaton, 19, showed the Premier how to sharpen up his knife skills.

Marist Youth Care chief executive Cate Sydes invited Mr Baird out to see its employment programs first hand and discuss funding concerns.

State funding for another program Youth Connections runs out at the end of the year.

‘‘It was a chance for him to see young people willing to work and enjoying the chance to be independent, rather than being dependent,’’ Ms Sydes said.

The Premier vowed to take funding concerns on board.

‘‘I’ve been an advocate  for disadvantaged young people for a long time, having been involved in a few services like this myself,’’ Mr Baird told the Star.


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