21 year old Darren Durrant has secured a Barista job with Welsh Apprentice Winner, Alana Spencer’s Ridiculously Rich café in Llandudno thanks to Conwy Employment Hub’s help.
The Hub’s Communities for Work Plus programme has been providing Darren with specialist employment advisory support and intensive mentoring since January 2021, and his mentor Trish has worked with him on one-to-one sessions to build his confidence and other required support to help him enhance his future career prospects.
In early 2021 Alana Spencer announced the opening of her new dessert café in Llandudno and Darren saw a call out for staff on her Instagram account which he raised with his mentor. With Trish’s help Darren was one of 900 applicants who applied for a job at the Craig-y-Don Promenade Paddling Pool site. He was successful in making the shortlist of 40 applicants and was invited to attend a Barista training course in Swansea but to get through to the next stage he needed to cover the cost of his transport and accommodation.
Trish, Conwy Employment Hub Practitioner Manager and Darren’s mentor commented:
“It was all credit to Darren that he made it to the shortlist and attending the course in Swansea was an important part of the recruitment process. The cost though was a significant barrier so Communities for Work Plus and his work coach were only too happy to cover this, and we also helped Darren with work clothing which all helped him secure his dream job.”
The Barista course provided Darren with the knowledge, skill and passion for the art of espresso making as well as the skills for making a wide range of other beverages including cappuccinos and lattes. He was then invited for a two-week placement in the newly opened café which he passed with flying colours securing a permanent role.
Darren takes up the story:
“I was working in the hospitality industry for a hotel but I was on a zero-hour contract and wanted more security so this was an opportunity that was too good to miss. I’m indebted to Conwy Employment Hub and Communities for Work Plus for the help they’ve given me especially in helping me attend the course, which was invaluable in providing the knowledge and skills as well as lots of practical tips, tricks and techniques which I’m putting to good use."
“As well as being a qualified Barista, I’m now a connoisseur in Alana’s delicious cakes and loving every minute! There is such great camaraderie with the team and knowing every one of us is an invaluable member of making the Ridiculously Rich café in Llandudno successful is heart-warming.”
As well as providing links to employment opportunities and a suite of free courses, Conwy Employment Hub can also aid with writing CVs, interview techniques and tips, volunteering, work placements, basic IT skills and confidence building.