Carving out a career in hospitality – Jasmine’s story

Jasmine was studying A’ levels at Gower College Swansea when she contacted the Futures team for support with finding a part-time job to fit around her studies. Having decided that she didn’t want to go to University, Jasmine wanted to focus her efforts on entering employment to gain valuable transferrable skills and real-world experience. Jasmine was supported by her Career Coach to explore suitable opportunities in the hospitality sector and was matched to a Dessert Maker role in local dessert parlour, Treatz.

Jasmine worked with her Career Coach to create a high quality CV, and dedicated herself to mock interview practice sessions to build her confidence. Jasmine performed exceptionally well at interview and was immediately offered a part-time position.

Wanting to further explore her post-education options, Jasmine’s Career Coach signposted her to the Futures Academy – a programme of activities designed to develop an individual employment pathway for every student, with the aim of progressing straight into work or an apprenticeship on completion of their A’ level studies. After exploring her options, Jasmine decided to focus on trainee chef opportunities in the hospitality sector; Jasmine was enjoying her part-time role so much that she had discovered a passion for food and the kitchen environment.

After leaving college, Jasmine was referred to the Better Jobs, Better Futures team for ongoing support. Jasmine’s Career Coach suggested that she enrolled onto a food hygiene course to boost her job-relevant skills, and Jasmine took advantage of the opportunity and completed the course with flying colours.

The team worked tirelessly to seek out the right opportunity, and Jasmine was quickly matched with the perfect fit: a Trainee Chef role at the award winning Forage Farm Shop & Kitchen. The role offered the opportunity to work alongside their Head Chef, as part of a supportive team with a passion for local produce and sustainable farming practices. Jasmine was extremely excited about the opportunity, and submitted an application; she hugely impressed the employer and was offered the Trainee Chef role with immediate effect.

Jasmine has been in her role for a few months and is making exceptional progress, and it is fantastic to see the commitment to her ongoing development with her Commis Chef apprenticeship having recently started in September.

“We are delighted that Jasmine has joined us as a Trainee Chef. The kitchen team at Forage has built a fantastic reputation over the last two years, and we hope that Jasmine will learn a great deal and enjoy her training. We are building a really exciting project here, and it’s fantastic to give youngsters a chance to develop their careers with us.” – Tom Homfray, Owner, Forage Farm & Kitchen.

Stacey Turner

Stacey attended an NHS staff development session hosted by the Better Jobs, Better Futures team and signed up for support hoping to progress within her role. Stacey was working as a Mental Health Liaison Nurse but looking to take the next step on her career journey. With support from Career Coach Lynsey, Stacey found the perfect opportunity and was guided through the application process. Lynsey carried out regular mock interviews to improve Stacey’s confidence and competence, and after a huge amount of effort and dedication, Stacey performed brilliantly well at interview and was offered her dream role as an Occupational Mental Health Practitioner!

Stacey is now playing a pivotal role in her new team, developing a mental health service to provide workplace client referral assessments. Since starting in her new role, we were delighted to welcome Stacey to deliver two training sessions for Better Jobs, Better Futures staff around depression, anxiety, suicide prevention and first aid. With future sessions already in the pipeline, it is fantastic to be part of Stacey’s ongoing development on her incredible career journey.

“By talking through my aspirations with my Career Coach, I developed a better understanding of myself and my future goals. The support helped build my confidence, supported me in decision making and provided useful techniques and skills to use in interviews. This leadership role utilises all my past and present qualifications and combines all my transferrable skills, as well as providing the platform to develop compassionate, holistic services, meeting my personal and professional values.” – Stacey

If you are interested in support with progressing in your career, or need support to find a new role, contact the team to find out how we can help:

01792 284450 |

Meet Jade!

Before the pandemic, Jade was working in two different hospitality roles to support herself and build her employability skills whilst she decided what she wanted to do long-term in her career. Jade had always been very artistic and wanted to utilise her skills, but was undecided whether education, employment or an apprenticeship would be more suited to her circumstances.

During the pandemic, Jade was unfortunately furloughed from her roles, but being determined to see this as an opportunity rather than adversity, Jade started taking online courses to further develop her art and drawing skills. Jade showed incredible commitment and dedication to her ongoing development and decided that she wanted to explore the possibility of becoming a tattoo artist.

Jade took a strategic approach to achieving her goal and signed up for practical courses where she could further improve her artistic skills, particularly in drawing realistic animals, a popular tattoo choice.

Jade also volunteers at the Swansea University Egypt Centre, running educational sessions for visitors and school children which is greatly improving her confidence and transferrable employability skills. Jade is also about to start training to become an Educational Officer for the centre, further demonstrating her commitment to self-development.


With the ongoing support of her Career Coach, Angela, Jade is currently applying for work opportunities to keep her focused and motivated whilst she waits for a suitable Tattoo Artist Apprenticeship to come up in the local area. Jade is the perfect example of how forward planning and exploring your options is the best method to achieving your goals; she shows unrelenting dedication to her craft and long-term ambitions, and her enthusiasm for her passion is both contagious and inspiring.

“I’ve received one to one support with my CV, applications for jobs and job searching. I would have found this difficult to do on my own and it was great to get help to communicate more professionally. Thank you for all of your meaningful support” – Jade

Say hello to Catrin!

Catrin discovered her passion for hairdressing while volunteering at a local hair salon before enrolling onto a Level 1 Hairdressing course at Gower College Swansea. Due to a disability which affects her hands and joints, Catrin found the practical nature of the course incredibly challenging. Despite the flair and enthusiasm she was showing for her written work, Catrin was disappointed that she was unable to progress further with the course and felt her dream disappear and didn’t know where to turn for support. As a result, Catrin’s Tutor referred her to the Futures team to explore her options.

Through 1-2-1 coaching, Career Coach Lisa got to know Catrin and it became clear she had an aptitude for working with young children; Catrin had a young nephew whom she adored and regularly looked after. Lisa suggested that Catrin look into childcare career options; after feeling excited about this potential new career path and desperate to keep progressing on her learning journey, Catrin successfully applied for a Level 1 childcare course.

“My Career Coach Lisa was supportive with my career and has helped me a lot to decide what path is right for me. I now understand that hairdressing wasn’t the right career and I was encouraged to do childcare because I’m brilliant with my nephew and I love playing with children. Thank you so much Lisa for supporting me. You inspired me to do an apprenticeship and now it has come true for me. Thanks for helping me to work towards my dreams and goals, and I was so thrilled to become Childcare Apprentice of the Year” – Catrin

Catrin’s hard work, resilience and positive attitude shone through from the minute she started her course; she maintained excellent attendance, completed all her work on time and to a high standard, and was always willing to support her peers. Catrin’s incredible efforts did not go unnoticed, and she was nominated for Gower College Swansea Student of the year.

As Catrin approached the end of her first year, she wanted to keep learning but gain more hands-on experience and move into an apprenticeship rather than full-time education. Taking control of her future and making positive changes that suited her needs, Catrin applied for an apprenticeship with Noah’s Ark Nursery and was absolutely delighted when she was offered the position.

Catrin is thriving in her new role and making amazing progress towards her Level 2 in Children’s Care, Play, and Learning & Development. Catrin’s ability to overcome her physical barriers with enthusiasm and positivity was recognised when she was recently awarded the Gower College Swansea Childcare Apprentice of the Year 2022.

“Catrin is amazing with the children. She works so hard to entertain them and is always willing to help staff in day-to-day tasks. We love working with her and we are so proud of what she has achieved” – Noah’s Ark Nursery

Catrin is an inspiration, proving that everyone can achieve their goals, regardless of challenges or adversity. Her inspirational attitude to learning has had a positively profound impact on herself, her peers, her tutors and her family, and we couldn’t be more proud.


Meet Andrew!

Andrew, aged 53, has a vast history of work experience in a variety of roles as well as experience of managing his own business.

Andrew worked for Ford Motor Company for several years as well as a role in Logistics, before deciding to start his own business, D Car Deals Brokerage. Andrew’s business involved selling vehicles through 27 UK based dealerships, managing all aspects of the transaction process.

Alongside his business, Andrew was also a self- employed photographer with an impressive client base ranging from the BBC, Daily Mail and The Guardian to WRU and the Welsh Government. Deciding to stick with his passion, Andrew took the decision to focus on his photography, which led to him working on assignments across the globe for worldwide magazines and newspapers.

In a devastating turn of events, Andrew suffered a stroke in 2013 which left him unable to stand or walk and with difficulties speaking. This hindered Andrew’s independence and ability to run his business which he had worked so hard to build, but instead of accepting defeat, Andrew decided to use his experience to his advantage.

 “This life changing event has made me an advocate for people with disabilities. It is important to me that everyone gets the same opportunities in life to thrive and be the best versions on themselves” – Andrew

Andrew became a Big Ideas Wales role model, engaging with young people to inspire entrepreneurship and mentorship as well as working as a Consultant for Swansea University, finding ways to share his wealth of knowledge and expertise to help projects and local communities to have a positive impact on wellbeing.

Andrew is now looking for permanent employment where he can work with those who are able to facilitate positive changes, including employers who can enable those with disabilities to feel comfortable in applying for roles and putting adjustments in place for those that need them.

Andrew is an inspiration to all, and we look forward to supporting him on his career journey and to achieving his goal of changing the world for the better, one person at a time.

Say hello to Courtney!

Ashmole & Co, one of Wales’ largest accountancy and auditing practices, recruited Courtney as a Business Administration Apprentice at the beginning of September after she graduated from Gower College, Swansea, with A Levels in English Language and Literature and Welsh.

Courtney is excelling in her apprenticeship and gaining hugely valuable experience in all aspects of businesses operations including IT, HR and Payroll. Courtney is also receiving fantastic support from her employer, completing various online courses and working towards gaining future qualifications to accelerate her progression.

“Starting a new job during a pandemic was daunting, but the support I have received from Better Jobs, Better Futures, my family and Ashmole & Co has been very reassuring. If you’re thinking of doing an apprenticeship and want to earn a wage while gaining experience, it’s a great option. I am excited to learn new business skills and bring that together with my own skillset. My family and I are pleased I have been given this opportunity to gain qualifications whilst having the practical experience to match.” – Courtney, Apprentice



“Our business needed an all rounded, office junior level of support, however we had much to offer someone who wanted to gain practical experience in the business environment. Taking on an apprentice is a great way to enhance the skilled workforce here at Ashmole & Co and we consider it a privilege to be able to assist in Courtney’s career development. The biggest benefit for me is that the candidates have the best attitude, with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. I would whole-heartedly recommend taking on an apprentice to anyone who has the opportunity.” – Sarah Stallard, HR Manager, Ashmole & Co

”We worked with Sarah at Ashmole & Co to provide support on the whole recruitment and onboarding process, ensuring an apprenticeship was the right fit for the role, and for the business. We worked hand in hand to advertise and fill the position. I am delighted that we were able to find the ideal candidate for Ashmole & Co in Courtney, who is now enjoying the opportunity to earn while she learns.” – Beth Fisher, Workforce Adviser

Meet Alina…

Alina is 17 years of age, originally from Latvia and has lived in the UK for the last 10 years. Alina was keen to find employment in Painting and Decorating, and received support from Better Jobs, Better Futures to update her CV, gain a CSCS card and search for appropriate opportunities.

Alina does not speak English as her first language and is from a non-working household, so has relied on an education maintenance allowance to support herself financially. Alina wanted to pursue a Painting and Decorating apprenticeship but knew this would be very difficult as she is unable to drive, often an essential requirement. Alina had also been unable to secure part time work to help her achieve this goal as she assisted with the childcare of her younger siblings on evenings and weekends.

With the support of the Better Jobs, Better Futures team, Alina quickly secured an apprenticeship and passed all of the required tests. The apprenticeship was offered at an increased pay rate and Alina’s employer has been incredibly supportive, wanting to help Alina progress in every way possible and even contributing to the funding of her driving lessons.

“During this hard time, I received lots of support. I was given lots of help with lessons and resources to pass my CSCS card and I am very thankful that they helped me find my apprenticeship. The team always kept in contact with me, so I was never worried about my future.” – Alina, Client

“Alina has recently started her decorating apprenticeship with us and has relished the challenges set for her. Alina is a welcome and valued team member already and we have high hopes for her future development. We would not have found Alina if it wasn’t for the help of Better Jobs, Better Futures. The continued support has been great, and we would recommend the service to anyone who is looking to recruit.” – Employer, Gower Paint Pro


Spotlight on…lockdown!

With the easing of restrictions combined with the re-opening of our Employment Hub for face-to-face delivery, now is the perfect time to reflect on all that has been achieved over the last few months.

The Employability Department quickly adapted to new remote ways of working, evidenced by the service reaching and supporting more than 3000 individuals. Clients and businesses responded very positively to these changes and benefited from the continuation of available support. Throughout the lockdown period many clients on the Better Jobs, Better Futures programme secured some fantastic opportunities, and others progressed through different stages of applications. Individuals on Reach+ further advanced their language and employability skills through new virtual learning techniques, and individuals supported through ‘Enterprising Futures’ continued to make excellent progress on their entrepreneurial plans. 

New and existing clients were incredibly grateful that our services continued, with many finding themselves out of work and requiring flexible support to help them move quickly into new employment, such as Better Jobs, Better Futures client Lowrie. With perceived barriers to securing her dream job being a lack of experience, qualifications and unsure how to navigate the job application process, Lowrie was supported by her Career Coach Lynsey to develop more confidence in her abilities and apply for a number of positions before securing the role she had always wanted.

“I was fed up in my current job and felt there were no other jobs out there, so I contacted Better Jobs Better Futures for help and advice. They helped me edit my CV and sat and chatted with me about the jobs I wanted. I didn’t have much hope, but they kept my spirits up. After daily interaction of discussing jobs I have now secured my dream job in Care. I did not think I would ever get this job especially during the pandemic.”

It was also pleasing to see many of our college students securing brilliant job and apprenticeship opportunities as a result of our employability support. Students like Jade who wanted to find the right opportunity to best utilise the knowledge and skills she developed through studying Food and Beverage.

“During this stressful time I have had help and support from my Career Coach Lisa. Without Lisa I would not have achieved many things. From helping me create a new CV to general day to day support I have finally found a job in a restaurant that is right for me.”

Despite the level of uncertainty in the economy a number of organisations continued expanding throughout lockdown and our team of Workforce Advisers were on hand to lend their support to employers to address a range of recruitment and workforce challenges.

Order Uniform UK is one organisation that witnessed an upsurge in demand, which translated into a need to bring additional specialist staff on board quickly. Despite initially furloughing part of the team as the company faced concerns over reduced sales, they began to see an increase in orders as their competitors temporarily closed their operations. This meant they were able to bring furloughed staff back sooner than expected. There was also an immediate need to recruit new team members, and purchase additional production equipment to service a greater volume of orders.

“Thanks to the ongoing workforce development and planning support from Better Jobs, Better Futures we were able to adapt existing job descriptions to advertise the roles quickly, implement a fair and equal recruitment process utilising interview scoring matrixes to be able to recruit the right staff to join the team in record time during lockdown.”

Kelly Jenkins

Director Order Uniform UK.

With Swansea seeing unemployment benefit claimants increase by around 70%, and approximately 20% of the local workforce currently claiming furlough, we are preparing for a significant increase in the scale and scope of individuals requiring our support. At the same time we are anticipating renewed demand from employers for our recruitment support as the economy gradually reopens, helping businesses to address their workforce challenges and providing valuable opportunities to the individuals we are supporting into new or better work.

If you are seeking new or different employment, or are an employer requiring recruitment or workforce support, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at: or on 01792 284450.

Employment Hub Re-Opening

We are delighted to announce that we are re-opening for face-to-face delivery from Monday the 13 July. We have made adjustments to the layout of the building and put in place all necessary precautions and safety measures to resume delivery in a safe, friendly and relaxing environment.

To find out how we can help with your employment journey, get in touch at 01792 284450 or email: