Thanks to the support of the EU-funded project Workways+ 39 year old Gerald Maddox is cooking up a storm at The Lost Coins in Haverfordwest.
Gerald, from Haverfordwest, had spent many years in the Armed Forces but since leaving in 2008, he struggled to find permanent employment. In August 2016, Jobcentre Plus referred Gerald to Workways+ after having being out of work for 3 years.
After meeting with Jackie, a Mentor from Workways+, Gerald’s hunt for employment began to progress more rapidly. They worked together on building his confidence, updating his CV and searching for local job opportunities. Gerald was keen to explore all opportunities and decided to widen his skillset by gaining his CSCS card and a Health & Safety in the Construction Sector NVQ.
Gerald and Jackie continued to look for vacancies across a broad range of sectors when a Kitchen Assistant position became available at The Lost Coins in Haverfordwest. Jackie spoke to Lost Coins Manager, Anna Miller, where they discussed suitable vacancies. Gerald was invited to an Open Day the following day, where he had an interview for a Kitchen Assistant vacancy. The news to follow was excellent; Gerald was invited back for a second interview and was offered the job.
Jackie Gilderdale, Workways+ Mentor said ‘Gerald’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious, and with a little guidance and support we were able to explore the wide range of opportunities available to him. Now he’s in work I couldn’t be happier for him. ‘
Gerald said ‘I’ve been out of permanent employment since moving to Pembrokeshire 5 years ago, but since having the support of Workways+ in August last year, things have really progressed for me. The best thing for me has been the mentoring support provided by Jackie, all the support I have wanted I have had. I am so much more happy and confident now I am back in work.”
Anna Miller, Lost Coins Manager said “We are so happy to have Gerald on board with us here. He has really come into his own and has been indispensable during a busy summer period. Gerald plays to his strengths and is able to work to high quality standards and in an effective and efficient way, something that is really important in the restaurant industry. We are grateful for everything he has brought to the team.”
Pembrokeshire County Councillor Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for the Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture congratulated Gerald on his achievements.
“It is wonderful to hear such a heart-warming story as this”, he said. “There is no reason for anyone to think that because unemployment was their past and present it need also be their future.”
Workways+ is backed by £7.5m from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government. The project is led by Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council in collaboration with Swansea, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion County Councils.
To find out more information about Workways+ call 01639 684250 or visit www.workways.wales