Isaac prepares for an exciting career in catering
Isaac Wide is preparing for an exciting career in catering thanks to a work placement at National Star’s StarBistro.
As part of our Skills for Work programme Isaac spent one year working alongside the staff of StarBistro at Ullenwood, a social enterprise that offers young people with disabilities the opportunity to gain work experience within a bustling hospitality environment.
For Isaac, the placement enabled him to explore his interest in cooking.
‘Cooking, I have always had a passion for. I have always had a fascination with how certain dishes are prepared,’ said Isaac.
‘When I found out National Star had a bistro where I could apply my skills, I jumped at the chance.’
At StarBistro Isaac greeted customers, took food and drink orders, served dishes and operated the till. He also helped to prepare food in the kitchen, and took part in tasks that included peeling vegetables and making cakes.
A highlight was monthly HIT masterclasses. During these sessions expert trainers visited StarBistro to demonstrate how some dishes were made and offer top tips.
‘You make different dishes – one week was bread, another was a vegan dish,’ Isaac explained.
The experience at StarBistro has developed Isaac’s confidence and provided him with the social and practical skills that are necessary for employment after college.
‘Last September I was a bit shy talking to people, but working in the bistro has helped me improve my customer service skills.
‘It’s really helped me get the experience I need for a future career in catering.’
Isaac is keen to encourage other young people with disabilities to consider StarBistro for a work placement.
‘If you’ve got a good sense of humour and you’re game for a laugh, working at StarBistro is the thing for you,’ said Isaac.
Our one-year Skills for Work programme offers placements at both National Star and with partner employers. Students have the opportunity to try a range of jobs before deciding where they want to work. They are also supported to improve their work related maths, English and communication skills.