Turning over a new Paige, making a fresh start with Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre, thanks to Pathway SkillsZone

Paige came to Pathway SkillsZone with a genuine desire to get into work as a Chef and chose to enrol on a Traineeship at our centre in Ashton-under-Lyme in Greater Manchester. Here, Paige showed a real determination and passion for achieving her goal, despite having bad experiences in the past and lacking confidence that she would find a job in this area due to her lack of direct experience.

As a care leaver, Paige had spent time in the care system, and as a result, she lacked self-confidence. in January 2022, Paige engaged with her Job Centre Work Coach, Sharon. Paige had previously worked in Retail but found this wasn’t the industry for her and struggled to manage her anxiety in the environment.

Working with Sharon, Paige built her confidence and self-belief, taking the opportunity to look at various support services and take small daily steps.

Sharon felt Paige was spending much of her time at home, in her comfort zone and sensed she was stuck in a rut. In time, Paige began to express an interest in Catering around this. Sharon and Paige discussed an opportunity with Pathway SkillsZone located in Clarance Arcade, focusing on working in the Hospitality sector.

Paige and Sharon met with the Pathway SkillsZone Delivery Manager, Emma Mortin, to discuss route ways into the Hospitality industry. Emma quickly identified Paige’s enthusiasm and eagerness to engage, examining the components of the Traineeship; Sharon and Emma felt this would be the right option for Paige – Paige agreed.

What is a Traineeship?

A traineeship is a skills development programme that includes a work placement—designed for those aged 16-24 that are eligible to work in England and have little or no work experience but are motivated to work.

A traineeship has three core elements:

  • A high-quality work experience placement with an employer
  • Work preparation training, provided by the training organisation
  • English and maths support, if required, provided by the training organisation

Paige’s Traineeship programme would engage her to develop knowledge and understanding of:

  • Safe, hygienic and secure working environments
  • Effective teamwork
  • Giving customers a positive impression
  • Principles of customer service in hospitality leisure travel and tourism
  • Preparing and serving hot drinks using specialist equipment

Whilst also developing her English & Maths skills and then moving into an actual work placement to give her a taste of the Hospitality industry and gain hands-on experience.

Paige attended every session and had a fantastic attitude to the learning

  • Level 2 Certificate in Hospitality and Catering
  • Level 2 Certificate in Employability

Paige went on to her work placement at Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre as a Trainee Commis Chef.

Following the initial meeting, an interview was arranged with the General Manager, Steve, with Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre, in Piccadilly, for Paige.

Paige impressed the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre team from day one and, on completion of her work experience placement, was offered a full-time position

Paige came to us from Pathway SkillsZone to start a work placement as part of her Traineeship Programme. From our first meeting, it was evident that she was extremely passionate about becoming a Chef, and her personality shone through. She immediately impressed Frankie, our Executive Head Chef, and completed her placement with flying colours. 

 We are delighted to say that Paige is now a full-time employee at the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre as a Commis Chef and is settling well. 

 Paige has been presented with her Chef Whites and was over the moon to be presented with her chefs’ knives too.

 We are delighted to be able to support young people in this way by working with Pathway Group. I am sure Paige will not be the last!

Jane Shaw, HR Coordinator at Holiday Inn, Manchester City Centre

“It was a pleasure to support Paige, and we look forward to supporting her future in her career as she progresses.”

Emma Mortin, Delivery Manager for the Greater Manchester Combined Authority at Pathway Group

Paige called in to see me, with the biggest smile and read out an email she had received from Holiday Inn to say how much they wanted her onboard and working alongside them. Paige is over the moon with this opportunity.

Sharon, Work Coach at Job Centre Plus

“Just keep swimming…”

I had never heard of Pathway Group, or Pathway SkillsZone before I attended my job centre appointment; my work coach Sharon mentioned a new course that covered different aspects of hospitality (my dream job is to be an executive head chef of my own restaurant).

So after my job centre appointment, I went over to Pathway SkillsZone, got myself signed on, and started the course there and then; the course covered many things from food safety, health and safety and how food production works within a business.

I put my heart and soul into the course and got an interview with Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre.

I went in for my interview and was asked to cook my executive head chef a dish from the available ingredients. So I made a Japanese stir fry. My Head Chef tasted the Japanese stir fry and offered me a place within his kitchen there and then. Honestly, this was one of the best days of my life.

I finished all my learning with pathways within a few weeks, and I’m now a commis chef and have started my career path.

For anyone who is reading this story and has anxiety or fear about what they want to do with their future, one thought I want you to remember is life is hard, but if we do the things that make us happy, then life becomes happiness.

Thank you to everyone at Pathway Group and the Holiday Inn for giving me a chance!!

Paige, former Trainee, now Commis Chef at Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre

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