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Hell Pizza – Changing perceptions around disability

Case Study

New Zealand Diversity Awards, 2016
Diversity Awards Category

Hell Pizza – Changing perceptions around disability

The opportunity

After delivering pizzas to Active, a Wellington organisation for youth with intellectual disabilities, the Hell management team started a conversation with the group to see what support they could offer. The discussions resulted in the creation of a paid training and work experience programme for youth with an intellectual disability, designed to create opportunities for them to enter the workforce and break down some of the barriers they face.

Strategies for success
  • Hell formed a partnership with IDEA Services, a subsidiary of IHC, to set up the Active in Hell training programme.
  • A small pilot programme, with four trainees, was rolled out and filmed so Hell could promote Active in Hell to franchisees across the country.
  • Each trainee completes a six-week programme in a Hell kitchen, working two two-hour sessions per week to cover health and safety education and food preparation including making dough and pizza bases.
  • Franchisees across New Zealand were recruited to take part in the programme, with about two thirds of the 64 stores opting in, giving IDEA Services a variety of locations to place trainees.
Results and benefits
  • By mid-2016, 32 young people had completed the Active in Hell training programme in stores from Auckland to Dunedin. Every single trainee who started the programme, completed it.
  • One trainee from Rotorua went on to gain a job outside of the food industry, and another secured permanent employment in the Hell Upper Hutt store.
  • Four trainees from Wellington have gone on to complete the Food Safety Certificate Unit Standard 167 and three undertook St John’s First Aid training.
  • Franchisees who took part in the programme have had a refresher course on how to train someone effectively and induct them into the business.
  • Hell has committed to putting 64 trainees through the programme each year.
More about Hell Pizza

Hell Pizza began with one store in Wellington in 1996, and now has franchises nationwide, with 69 stores around the country employing 1,100 people.

“It’s been a very rewarding experience, and for some staff, I am sure it has changed their perceptions about how valuable people with intellectual disabilities can be in the workplace.”

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