Adam impresses in Stockport; nets catering apprenticeship after pandemic set back

Posted on the 25th August 2021

The pandemic upset a lot of plans, from weddings to graduations and career changes, but Adam handled it all in his stride. In September 2019, when Adam began the Supported Internship at Stepping Hill Hospital in conjunction with Pure Innovations and Cheadle and Marple College Network, he never imagined a pandemic would derail his supported internship.

From the beginning, we knew Adam was determined and were confident he’d succeed at whatever tasks he was given on his placement. He kicked things off with a successful bout of Travel Training with Pure Innovations which gave him the confidence to become an independent traveller. Of course, we were on hand to offer a bit of route training back and forth to Adam’s placements. 

During his internships, Adam juggled attending classes for 10 hours a week with four hours of work placement.  Besides managing this demanding schedule, Adam was able to learn and remember tasks and task order as well as improve his confidence and communication with others and in the workplace.

The real aim for Adam’s internship was to secure a paid job to further develop his independence. Spoiler alert: he has, and he’s done it in the throes of a pandemic, no less! 

Adam’s first placement was in the Education Centre at Stepping Hill Hospital in the Training Department. Whilst there, he completed a gamut of administrative tasks and made a fantastic impression. Adam’s managers commented that he had progressed further than previous interns and would have been able to train in ICT and system skills.

Ever ready for a challenge, Adam wanted to try his hand at a different placement and was keen to give various roles within the hospital’s catering department a try. Ultimately, Adam settled on a barista role in the maternity cafe, where he serves customers, stocks shelves and works on the till with support. Flourishing within the role, Adam proactively completed online food hygiene and customer service courses to develop his skills. His managers were impressed with his work and he was thriving in his placement until March 2020, when the Covid-19 national lockdown meant his placement had to end.

Adam is to be commended for his hard work because, due to his positive progression and proactive attitude, Neil Willows, Pure Innovation’s Assistant Internships Contract Manager, was able to liaise with Duncan O’Neill, catering manager from Stockport NHS Foundation and Trust, and Sarah Herdan, the Economy, Work and Skills Officer for Stockport Apprenticeship Store to secure an apprenticeship for Adam starting in September 2020 in the maternity cafe at the hospital.

Adam enjoys his work and is developing his skills and confidence. He can now work the coffee machine, producing drinks to order alongside his colleagues as well as serving customers, using the till and completing tasks such as refilling stock and clearing/wiping tables where necessary. But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what Adam has had to say: “I was happy to be on the internship as I got to make new friends and work with lovely staff who helped me find my dream job in catering and hospitality. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to finish my internships because of Covid-19 but I managed to secure a two-year apprenticeship in the catering and hospitality industry at Stepping Hill Hospital. I love being on my apprenticeship because I get to work in the staff restaurant, where I prepare and serve food. I am really enjoying it and have gained more confidence and skills in the workplace and I love my job.”

Adam’s mum, Sue, agrees that Adam is learning new skills and gaining experience every day. “A fantastic achievement and reward for all his hard work,” she added, “we’re so proud of Adam!” Adam is continuing to impress his employers, too. Duncan, catering manager at the hospital, says, “Adam has settled in well with his colleagues and has shown a positive can-do attitude and has developed his communication skills and improved his knowledge as he progresses.” 

And from everyone at Pure, we wish you all the best and continued success, Adam. We’re proud of how much you’ve achieved and are inspired by your perseverance through the pandemic. 

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