Sodexo began way back in 1966 in France, as a food service company for schools, hospitals and company restaurants. Today, Sodexo in Australia employs over 6,000 people across 300 sites that are part of a global team of 428,000 staff.
In Australia, Sodexo’s Quality of Life Services provide tailored services and improve the way clients’ businesses run on a daily basis. From catering services to facilities management, hospitality to concierge, security to bio-cleaning or asset maintenance, or innovating with new services, Sodexo provides an integrated suite in the Defence and Education sectors as well as Corporate, Seniors, Retail and Remote Site areas. Clients and customers are at the heart of Sodexo’s business and this is why the company continuously strives to improve Quality of Life.
In South Australia, one of Sodexo’s largest operations is at ASC (formerly Australian Submarine Corporation) at Osborne. In early 2014 Sodexo began working with Barkuma Employment, Barkuma’s open employment service, to recruit new staff for the cleaning crew at Osborne.
Neil Oliver, Operations Manager for Sodexo in SA, was key to the introduction and inclusion of new employees with disability. Working closely with Barkuma Employment staff ensured the smooth transition for clients into their new roles and the team at Sodexo.
"Our new recruits need to hit the ground running, so having the support of the Barkuma Employment team to assist each client was crucial to everyone’s success. I am pleased to report that there are smiles all around and Sodexo has gained valuable employees who have been recognised for their ability rather than disability," says Neil.
Currently Sodexo has employed 15 Barkuma Employment clients as part of the cleaning and catering crew. Given the success of the partnership thus far there are plans to offer more roles in different areas of Sodexo.
Barkuma greatly values dynamic partnerships such as that with Sodexo. Businesses which employ people with disability contribute enormously to achieving Barkuma’s vision of inclusion.