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.

Families come in all shapes and sizes, and so does our support!

Our new intern, Justas, knows all about the support on offer at Better Jobs, Better Futures, but did you know that his brothers have also crossed paths with our team and benefitted from our support along the way?

Oldest sibling, Karolis, had been working as a Junior IT Technician for Gower College Swansea when he first met the Futures Team, who run the college’s Employment and Enterprise Bureau. With a keen interest to progress to an IT Technician position, but unsure about the application and interview process, Karolis met with a Career Coach for support to develop his knowledge, skills and abilities. With 1-2-1 coaching and mentoring, Karolis gained confidence, learnt valuable new skills and submitted an excellent application for an internal progression opportunity. Karolis was invited to interview for the role, and after extensive preparation and regular mock interviews with the Futures Team, he performed exceptionally well and successfully secured a promotion to IT Technician!

“The work that you’ve done with Karolis has clearly paid off. It really was a superb interview, and the three of us on the panel all commented afterwards that it was like a different person in comparison to his previous interview. He was calm, clear, very professional, and addressed each question concisely including a good level of relevant information and examples whenever appropriate. He did a fine job, scored very well indeed, and was successful in gaining a promotion from Junior IT Technician to IT Technician. The whole team is really pleased with the outcome. 

Many thanks for your help with this process, and for making a really significant difference to Karolis and the Computer Services Team.” – Richard Thorne, former Computer Services Manager

Karolis’ younger brother, Laimis, was a frequent visitor to the Futures Hub during his year as Gower College Swansea’s Student Union President. An outgoing and sociable character, Laimis regularly dropped in to the Hub for advice from the coaches and to chat through his upcoming proposals. After his term as SU President came to an end, and following the advice and support from the Futures team, Laimis decided to re-enrol as a student at the college to study Business. Laimis found the support from the team particularly useful in exploring his options, and as a result, he felt more able to make informed choices based on his circumstances. After his positive experience and knowing the range of benefits from receiving support, Laimis referred his younger brother Justas to the Futures team for help with exploring his options and planning his own career journey.

Youngest sibling, Justas, first came to the Futures team for support with securing a part-time job to run alongside his Business course at Gower College Swansea. With big ambitions of working in the real estate industry, Justas was keen to kick-start his career journey and gain valuable transferrable skills to prepare him for the world of work. Justas received support from the Futures team to search for suitable job opportunities and improve and tailor his CV to relevant roles of interest. Justas made quick progress and was invited to interview for a part-time retail position where he made an excellent impression at his interview and successfully secured the role. But the support didn’t stop there! Justas was keen to keep pursuing his goal of working in real estate, and the team were eager to help him explore his next steps and set him on the best path to achieving his dreams. Justas decided that he wanted to gain experience in a customer focused environment where he could also enhance his administrative and organisational skills, and so he decided to pursue a new opportunity. Recruitment Consultant Sarah suggested that he consider a summer internship being offered by the Better Jobs, Better Futures programme, supporting marketing and administrative activity across a suite of projects. Justas jumped at the chance, completed an excellent application for the role and was quickly invited to interview. With individual preparation and regular mock interview practice with Sarah, Justas hugely impressed the panel with his positive attitude, inspiring ambition and willingness to learn and successfully secured the internship.

Justas started his role in July and has been a fantastic asset to the team; he has already gained a huge amount of transferrable skills and has discovered a love and talent for organisation and administration tasks through his time working with the reception team. Justas is gaining valuable work experience every day and is well on the way to obtaining his future career goals. The team are delighted to have Justas on board and will continue to provide ongoing support to ensure he achieves his dreams.

“The coaches I worked with were so helpful and passionate about their work, and they made sure that I reached my ideal job destination. BJBF has really helped me get the job I wanted and I couldn’t be more grateful.” – Justas

To find out more about the support that Better Jobs Better Futures can offer, contact the team on 01792 284450 or info@betterjobsbetterfutures.wales.

Recruitment Fair 2022

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

 

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: info@betterjobsbetterfutures.wales

 

Spotlight on Futures

As part of its ‘Better Jobs, Better Futures’ programme, Gower College Swansea delivers a wide range of employability support to its full-time learners under the ‘Futures’ brand. The Futures team work with students to raise awareness of  numerous employment and apprenticeship pathways for those seeking an alternative to higher education, and work with learners throughout their course to support them to progress on to their chosen routeway. They also offer access to a range of opportunities for learners seeking part-time employment to run alongside their studies, helping to build critical employability skills that will prove highly beneficial for entering the world of work.

This year, through a range of interventions delivered across college, Futures has supported over 4,000 students to develop their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the local labour market, explore career opportunities and build valuable employability skills, helping many to secure their first ever job. This support has also enabled the college to this year introduce its ‘Gower College Swansea Guarantee’, which guarantees full-time learners progression onto one of five routes –including a job, apprenticeship or continuing employability support, a higher education place or continuing further education – on completion of their course.

 

 

Careers Fair

Building on the college’s excellent relationships with local, regional and national employers,  the Futures team are able to offer businesses access to a diverse and highly sought-after talent pool to help build their future workforce. The strength of such connections also enables the college to host regular Career Fairs, attracting companies from a diverse range of sectors. The most recent event in February proved to be highly successful, and an invaluable experience for the over 2,000 students who attended, many of whom secured immediate job offers through connections made on the day. The feedback provided by the organisations who attended was similarly positive:

 

“We were delighted to be a part of the Better Jobs, Better Futures Recruitment Fair, and it was great to see so many

eager students engaging with such a wide range of employers.” Admiral Insurance

 

“We were delighted to be part of the Recruitment Fair which gave us the chance to provide an insight into employment opportunities in the field of Law. Thank you.” Gomer Willliams Solicitors

 

 

Futures Academy

For A’ level Students who do not wish to advance onto Higher Education, support is provided to navigate and plan the next stage of their progression through a unique Futures Academy programme. This innovative scheme, which is well supported by the region’s employers, offers students the opportunity to develop an individual employment pathway through a suite of tailored workshops and mentoring to help them seamlessly transition into employment or an apprenticeship on completion of their course.

Demi Clement is one example of a student who excelled from her experience at the Academy. Demi achieved ‘Business Student of the Year’ in 2018, and secured an apprenticeship with accountancy firm Bevan and Buckland, who said of the experience:

“Demi is a highly motivated and passionate young professional who is fully committed to becoming a Chartered Accountant. Demi has progressed from work experience student to Junior Accounts Assistant as a result of a willingness to gain experience, excellent academic performance and with the support of Gower College Swansea” – Vanessa Thomas Parry, Learning and Development Manager, Bevan and Buckland.

What’s next?

In line with the continued delivery of our sector-leading Gower College Swansea Guarantee, and in light of the continued labour market challenges posed by Covid 19, the Futures  programme is expected to play an even bigger role in advising learners on their future employment and career plans over the coming months and equipping them with the skills to succeed in their chosen routeway. So if you’re a student, or prospective student, wanting to find out more about the support on offer, or an employer keen to work with us to provide opportunities for our learners, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email to: info@betterjobsbetterfutures.wales