April 29, 2022
The first Omnia Fresh Food mini-supermarket in Queensland has officially opened on the Gold Coast.
Just the second facility of its type anywhere in Australia, the new Southport site signifies an important evolution in the world-leading inclusive training partnership between Woolworths, Fujitsu and Omnia Inclusive Employment Solutions.
Creating training opportunities
– for all.
The innovative ‘mini-supermarket’ program was originally trialed with the students of five schools in NSW and ACT. It was expanded in March 2022 with the launch of the first permanent Omnia Fresh Food mini-supermarket in Gosford, NSW – with the promise of many more sites to come, beginning with the new Southport facility.
As Deborrah Lambourne, CEO of Omnia Inclusive, explained at the launch of Omnia Fresh Food Southport, the highly-realistic retail spaces are purpose-designed to cater to the specific training needs of adults with disability, aged 16 years and older: “The Omnia Fresh Food initiative aligns perfectly with our vision of fostering true inclusion and belonging for all. It plays an invaluable role in empowering our participants with essential skills required in workplaces across various roles and industries. Importantly, it allows them to learn at their own pace in a dedicated space, enabling them to excel in their lifelong employment journey.”
Real-world training and opportunities.
Omnia Fresh Food Southport replicates virtually all aspects of a real-world Woolworths supermarket. In a safe, friendly and supportive environment, it allows jobs seekers with disabilities and other diverse characteristics to learn highly-transferable workforce skills through hands-on retail experiences. Direct outcomes include greater literacy, numeracy, customer service skills and confidence, all of which contribute directly to long-term employability.
According to long-time Omnia Inclusive participant, Mark Burridge, it’s a great idea. “Omnia Fresh Food is very exciting. It’s really good for people to learn new skills before starting work,” says Mark who lives with an intellectual disability and has worked at Woolworths Bulimba for more than 11 years. “It would have been great for me when I first started, to help grow my confidence and get my first job.”
Omnia Fresh Food Southport officially launched on April 13, 2022 with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mr Warwick Agnew, Director-General, Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.
Woolworths and Fujitsu are committed to launch more mini-supermarkets stores in partnership with Omnia Inclusive.