Ross started on the Talent City 1 programme at our social enterprise, Keeper's Coffee & Kitchen in Cookridge, Leeds. He spent 12 months on the programme, learning all aspects of food hygiene, COSHH, health and safety, barista training and menu planning.
He was supported by one of our trained Job Coaches and was famous for his delicious soups!
With help from our programme and employability managers, who arranged meetings with the Marriott team, he was successful in being recruited onto the Marriott apprenticeship scheme.
He has travelled to Edinburgh and completed a fish and meat preparation course, and is looking forward to a long and successful career with the Marriott group.
As a parent of a young person on the Autistic Spectrum you worry about them all the time. As they get older one big worry is are they going to work and how will that work out?
We were very lucky to get a huge amount of support from Lighthouse Futures Trust. They have helped Ross to gain an apprenticeship at Marriott Hotel in Leeds. Ross had never dared to dream about working somewhere like that, he just thought he would get a job in a little local cafe. Since he started working with Lighthouse Futures his confidence has soared. He now has a purpose in life and he feels valued. Though he does still struggle at work I feel that Lighthouse Futures have worked closely with Marriott to help them understand that having a member of staff on the spectrum is different and it will be a huge learning curve for everyone.
I cannot thank everyone at Lighthouse Futures enough for everything that they have helped Ross to do. He would not be the fabulous young man that he is today without all their help.
- Rachel, Ross' Mother
We received these wonderful words of support from Leeds Marriott about the scheme:
I would like to let you know how things are after several months of working with one of your Students Ross Hall.
Back in 2017 our Exec Chef and I visited your Keepers Coffee & Kitchen in Cookridge, this was after we initially met and discussed a potential vacancy we had in our Kitchen. We met Ross who was at the time running the catering side of your establishment, it didn’t take long for us to realise how passionate he was in what he did and also what he wanted to do. We saw his potential and wanted to help him with his next Career Journey. As you know Ross was successful in his application for Culinary Apprentice and he has been in his role now for 10 months. He is part of our MCAA Programme and has enrolled on his NVQ to complete the necessary training required for the Apprentice Chef role.
I cannot express how he has changed peoples mind-sets and had brought a laughter and happiness to the team and within the hotel. We can see how your students have so much to offer if employers gave them an opportunity or a chance. They add value to your business and should be given every opportunity to succeed and grow as young people into adults.
The Leeds Marriott would love to continue to work with you and enrich our education with supporting young people in the workplace and hopefully we may be in a position to offer further employment.
If any companies have any doubts about building a partnership with you then I would say, this is their loss.
We would also like to thank you and Katie for your continued support and welcoming us into your School.
Human Resources Manager
Leeds Marriott Hotel