Andrew moved into the kitchens at Yateley Industries, undertaking basic food preparation and with the support of the staff there he passed the Level 2 Award in Food Safety in Catering. It seemed like Andrew had found his calling. He undertook several work experience placements first at Yateley Manor School in their kitchen in 2012 and then working in the Tea Room at Bourne Antiques at the beginning of 2014.
Andrew was now certain he wanted to work in catering and set his goal of finding further employment in this area. In between his various work placements Andrew continued to develop his skills, working in the coffee shop and taking on more challenges including general clearing up and making sure the coffee shop was always ready for new customers. Unfortunately, the coffee shop closed but the business was sold to an external company that set up a restaurant, ‘La Galleria’.
Andrew was offered the opportunity to undertake work experience at the new restaurant which he readily agreed to, having enjoyed working in the coffee shop and keen to develop in his chosen career. Andrew progressed well on his placement gaining in both confidence and practical skills. He started to take on responsibility for greeting customers, taking bookings, answering the phone and working behind the bar something Andrew never thought he would have the confidence to do. Andrew also decided that he needed to take his driving test so that he would have no problems getting to his placement since the restaurant opened in the evenings as well as the day time.
With his new found confidence Andrew passed his driving test last year.
In April 2016 Andrew achieved his ultimate goal of employment within the restaurant and now works 21 hours a week at La Galleria. An adviser from Shaw Trust has been providing Andrew with support over the last few months and he says ‘I check in with Andrew every few weeks and every time I see him and we talk about work, he is always wearing the biggest smile, doesn’t matter what aspect of his job he is doing.’ Andrew says that he enjoys every aspect of his job and loves being part of the team at La Galleria. It has been quite a journey for Andrew to find the thing he loves to do and he has found it, not only that but he also achieved his goal of paid employment within the catering industry! Well done Andrew! Another great success story for the Work Choice Programme, Yateley Industries and Shaw Trust.