About Scarf

Scarf transforms the lives of young people by getting them into work while adding flavour and heart to the hospitality industry. We're a social enterprise that runs awesome training, mentoring and paid work experience programs for young people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds.

We partner with Melbourne's best restaurants to create a positive, real-world experience for our trainees, who have faced significant barriers to work. They are paid, valued, become part of a learning community, and move on to meaningful jobs with confidence, supportive relationships, and excitement. 

This recent Scarf newsletter explains a little about what we do and why we fundraise.

Quick Scarf Facts

- 8 years and 26 programs
- 215 graduate trainees
- 93% trainee retention
- 7,260 hours of paid work experience
- 200+ volunteer mentors and trainers
- 14,790 hours of industry training
- 100+ hospitality venue partners
- 15,200 diners served
- 70% graduates in employment*

*within six months of completing the program. Scarf graduates move on to great jobs at Melbourne businesses including Garden State Hotel, Siglo, Vertue Coffee, Attica, Sofitel on Collins, Atticus Finch, Two Birds Brewing, Super Ling, Maha, Moor’s Head, The Penny Black, Mount Zero Olives and Bibendum Wine Co.

Do More Than Dine is Scarf’s annual fundraiser, and it raises crucial funds to support Scarf programs so we can continue providing individualised wellbeing and job readiness support to our trainees. It also allows us to raise awareness about the barriers to fair work opportunities which are faced by young people seeking protection, and those from refugee and migrant backgrounds, and advocate for these resilient young people to have more equitable employment opportunities.

Humanitarian migrants face unemployment rates of up to 43% compared to the national average of around 6%. Barriers to employment are complex and intertwined, and include limited English, lack of Australian work experience, impacts of past trauma on health and wellbeing, low confidence and discrimination. Scarf has been working hard to break down these barriers for the past eight years. 

Scarf’s vision is a society which celebrates diversity, where all young people have equitable employment opportunities. We’re working towards this vision by running awesome programs which directly support young people with great training, mentoring and paid work experience, and by running events like Do More Than Dine and campaigns like Do More Than Drink to advocate for fairer and more inclusive hiring practices in the hospitality industry. After participating in Do More Than Drink ‘16, we asked our bar partners if they were now more likely to hire a young person from a refugee background. 77% of them said yes.


Find out more about Scarf on our website

Learn about Scarf's impact in these interviews with graduate trainees.