Supported internship lands Tom dream chef job

Supported internship lands Tom dream chef job

Teenager Tom Hopkins has landed his dream job – straight from leaving National Star College.

The 18-year-old, who has been on National Star’s Supported Internship programme, is now a full-time commis chef at Hatton Court Hotel in Gloucester.

He also scooped our Work Skills Award for his determination and effort during the year-long programme.

Tom has been with National Star for two years. He first completed the Skills for Work programme, which is for young people with disabilities and learning difficulties, spending four days a week learning practical work skills across college enterprises and businesses.

As he grew in self-confidence and skills Tom moved into the Supported Internship programme.

The aim of a supported internship is to support learners with a disability into paid full-time or part-time employment. This is done through a work placement based at the employer’s premises and studying towards appropriate qualifications – such as English and maths. Interns are supported by a tutor, job coach and job buddy.

During both years Tom worked in the kitchens of StarBistro.

Tom has Hypertonia, a condition which affects muscle and tone and can make arms or legs stiff and difficult to move.

He has always wanted to be a chef. He was delighted to gain a placement at Hatton Court Hotel, which was so pleased with him that they offered him additional paid weekend shifts.

Tom saved his earnings to buy his own set of chef’s knives. Now he will be working full-time as a commis chef.

Noel Hill, Deputy Manager at Hatton Court Hotel, said they were delighted that Tom was now a permanent part of the team.

‘Tom joined the team in October of 2017 with the intention of developing his skills and knowledge within the kitchen to help him pursue a career as a chef. He has shown great maturity and professionalism throughout his time with us.

‘He has been working under the direct guidance of our head chef and sous chef; recently he has been assisting in the running of all banqueting events in our garden marquee and has been delivering food to a very high standard.’

Find out more about National Star’s work related learning programmes.

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