High School Pupil Takes big Steps to Work

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Published: Friday 09 Mar 2018 by Fife Council

Daniel Lothian

Daniel Lothian

Daniel works in Waid Community Campus Cafe and the school kitchen

Daniel works in Waid Community Campus Cafe and the school kitchen

As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week, we're celebrating the successes of some of our young employees and find that Modern Apprenticeships aren't the only way into the workforce.  Here we find out about the some of their confidence building experiences.


We spoke to Daniel, a fourth year pupil at Waid Community Campus.  He’s studying for six Nat 4s in Maths, English, History, Physics, Social Studies and RME and taking part in a Steps 2 Work programme.    


After break time, Daniel swaps his school uniform for his barista uniform and starts his catering shift in Waid Community Campus cafeteria.  He told us:


“I’ve been working in the Waid café and kitchen now since just after the campus opened in September 2017.  I also take part in a Steps to Work programme alongside my school classes.  Steps to Work is an SQA Award which has a practical side as well as learning skills that will help me with job applications and interviews.  We do cooking, baking and charity work.  At Christmas we made hampers for the East Neuk Elderly Group.


“My work in the school cafeteria involves preparing lunches for the school kids; things like pizzas, paninis and baked potatoes and I peel and chop vegetables for the homemade soup.  I also make coffees for the staff, pupils and public and carry out the general cleaning duties that are required.


“The experience for me has been really valuable.  I have a good overview of how a busy café operates and I’ve learned a lot about kitchen hygiene and safety.  One of the transferable skills I’ve gained is confidence when having to speak up with a problem in the workplace and I think this will be useful for me when I leave school.


“I’ve already started looking into my options when I leave school and I’m hoping to continue in the catering field.  Here at Waid, Fife College have a course in Hospitality, Travel and Tourism so I’d really like to apply for that when the time comes.  That way, I’ll also be near my colleagues here if I need any help or advice.”


Daniel’s teacher at Waid, Ian Urquhart said,

“We tailored support for Daniel, which focused on the mainstream subjects he needed in an innovative way which supported his learning style.  Having made a bespoke curriculum link with the cafeteria to develop his skills for life and work, he has been able to gain valuable real-life experience and as a result is successfully achieving six SQA’s.  Daniel can look forward to being able to make choices when he leaves school and he has a range of options open to him.”


Gayle Langlands (Catering Supervisor) at Waid Community Campus told us:

“Daniel has been a real asset to us and is a very hard-working member of the team.  He has gained customer facing experience as well as behind the scenes knowledge and practical skills of working in a busy school kitchen.”


Daniel has also been able to transfer what he’s learned and carries out his duties in a paid capacity in the community campus after the school day is over.  This is a win–win situation for Daniel and Waid Community Use as the building has a busy extra-curricular focus so the café benefits from having an experienced member of staff willing to work the extra hours.


Find out more about different ways into work at www.fifedirect.org.uk/youthemployment


Leigh Donnelly, HR Adviser 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 47 34 34 Contact Leigh Donnelly online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT

Caroline Murphy, HR Adviser 
Tel: 03451 55 55 55 + Ext 44 43 15 Contact Caroline Murphy online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT

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