Unemployed Leamington teen scoops chef apprenticeship

By Laura Maltby Wednesday 06 February 2013 Updated: 08/02 08:12

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Buy photos » Wilde’s head chef Steve Keenan (L) welcomes newcomer Richard Barnes to his team. Picture by Jon Mullis 06.013.027.leam.jm5

AN UNEMPLOYED teenager who applied for more than 40 jobs has finally landed one thanks to the help of a youth organisation.

Warwickshire Association of Youth Clubs (WAYC) has been campaigning to raise awareness and funds for projects to help local young people not in employment, education or training (NEET). Over the last six months they have raised more than £5,000.

And the group is now looking for local businesses to support their campaign by offering work placements, business interview support or mentoring.

After applying for more than 40 jobs in a variety of professions without success, former WAYC youth club member Richard Barnes was ready to throw in the towel.

But the support the 19-year-old received from WAYC - including help with CV writing and job searching - has resulted in him securing a position as an apprentice chef at Wildes wine bar in Leamington.

Richard said: “I like waking up in the morning now as I have a real purpose. I go to work with some great people who are just as enthusiastic as me, which is brilliant.

“This job is teaching me some real skills and not just cooking. I’m part of a team and we all work hard because we want to offer a great service.

“I am also given the opportunity to use my own initiative on a daily basis, which I’m loving. I’m not afraid to try new things - whether its new foods or learning a new skill such as baking.

“I’m aiming to buy myself a moped to give me more independence. I now feel a lot better about myself and have goals as a result of this job.”

Businesses who would like to get involved can contact Cath Errington by emailing cath.errington@wayc.org.uk or calling 01926 450156.

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