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My story

In this section we highlight some local people's stories that have found employment using Youthoria and examples from employers with a structured career path.......

Hattie at work with colleaguesHattie - Richard Designs

As a student I enjoyed spending my spare time doing a range of arts and crafts and using different tools and materials to make costumes and props. I spent my two weeks work experience with Richard Designs, as the company appealed to me whilst at school. Then during June 2011, whilst studying Textiles and Art and Design at GCSE level at school, I joined Richard Designs to help towards my course work. During that time, I was given the opportunity to work in different workrooms but my time was mainly within their veil rooms. I gained excellent GCSE results and I went on to study Sciences at Hills Road Sixth Form College, completing my A-Levels but I decided not to continue with my science career.

After looking at my options, I reflected on how much I had enjoyed my work experience with Richard Designs. I was advised by the local Job Centre and from viewing the Youthoria website that the company was advertising for an Apprentice in Bridal Accessories, so I sent in my application. As I had maintained my interest in Textiles for over 10 years, the company decided I was the perfect candidate., After the interview process and a trial day with the company, I was offered the chance to join them as an Apprentice in their Tiara/Jewellery department. Following a very successful training period both ‘on the job’ and using an external training provider I studied for my NVQ Level 2 in Fashion and Textiles Apparel. I was then offered a full time, permanent position within Richard Designs this year. The company have said that I continue to be a valuable and reliable member of their team and that I am always willing to help out. I have also been trained to work in other areas of the organisation, where the company continues to see me as an asset.

I am one of the many employees within Richard Designs who have been able to benefit from the Apprenticeship scheme. The picture of me is taken with Councillor Lis Every, Lucy Frazer, MP for South East Cambridgeshire, and Darren Hill, Business Development Manager at ECDC. They visited my workplace with the Ely Standard local newspaper to do an article on how my experience has been of training as an apprentice, ask my thoughts of the scheme and how I choose to become an apprentice at the company. Richard Designs is always willing to review applications from other students interested in an Apprenticeship, especially those who would like to be involved in making beautiful bridal accessories such as veils, tiaras, petticoats or flower girl dresses.The company regularly advertise their vacancies on www.youthoria.org and I would encourage anybody with an interest in this career to check the website for possible opportunities.

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James in the Newmarket Road resturantJames - McDonald's

I joined McDonald`s as a part-time Crew Member in 1999 at the age of 15., I was at college but continued to work at McDonald`s for two years., I liked that I could fit work around my college commitments. After leaving college I decided to have a career in clothing retail, but after six months realised this was not for me and returned to McDonald`s working full time in 2001.

I settled in quickly and was promoted three times between 2003 and 2009. Shift Running Floor Manager 2003, 2nd Assistant Manager in Feb 2005 then I moved to the Cambridge City Centre store in July 2005. It’s the best training I’ve ever received; very thorough, detailed and well thought out. I gained so much knowledge and it gave me the drive and ambition to reach my goal of managing my own restaurant. I felt a huge sense of achievement when I was promoted to Business Manager in Oct 2012 and transferred to the Hampton Peterborough Branch.

Throughout my career I have received full training and support to improve my business and people management skills., In January 2015 I achieved my ambition to become a Restaurant Manager and moved back to Newmarket Road Cambridge. I enjoy my job, working with my team and the fast paced working environment.

There is a lot of information on the McDonald`s website, including an interactive Careers Challenge that invites young person to consider the recruitment process from the employer’s point of view, whilst exploring the importance of employability skills.

McDonald`s was voted 11th in 2015 by the Great Place to Work Institute for being in the top 25 Best Places to work (for, Large Organisations). Their position in the top 25 has been maintained for nine years.

For all current McDonald`s opportunities in Cambridgeshire please see our Job Vacancies section.

Shauna - Le Mark Group

I joined Le Mark after seeing their vacancy for Receptionist/Office Junior advertised on Youthoria.

I started at Swavesey Village College within year 11, as I had just moved in to the area. I completed my GSCE’s with the school year. At that time I also travelled to Chelmsford once a week to complete my beauty course, as I had started this when I lived in Essex and I additionally had work a work placement on Thursday and Friday’s in a busy salon in Cambridge. At the same time I managed to get a weekend job and decided to follow my career in hairdressing. After leaving school and completing eight months of my apprenticeship, I realised this wasn’t what I really wanted., I left hairdressing and got an administration job in a local college., I was able to undertake a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Business Administration.

At that time I often looked at the Youthoria website to see what opportunities were available. I have found this to be a fantastic website with lots of jobs suitable for my age., Le Mark advertised for a Reception/Office role, as I had the skills and it was nearer to home, I applied.

I started work with Le Mark in July 2013 in the Reception/Office role. The company recognised I could work as an Administrator in the UK Sales Department and I continued to study, completing an NVQ level 2 in Administration. I have progressed within the company, now working in the Print Department and have continued to study. I am now also working towards my NVQ Level 3 in Customer Service.

I would recommend looking at Youthoria to see what is job opportunities are available and the website also offers advice and guidance for young people.

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Sonia - Coversure Group

I attended Hills Road Sixth Form College Cambridge between 2011 and 2013 and studied A` level Mathematics, Chemistry and Psychology. During my last year of college I regularly looked at vacancies on youthoria to see what apprenticeships and jobs were available.  I didn’t look in a particular vocational area but kept my options open as I was unsure of what I really wanted to do.

I noticed a vacancy for a Trainee Account Handler role at Policyfast and applied.  I was invited for an interview with the HR manager and Operations manager, followed by a couple of tests. Later on that day they called to offer the job and I accepted straightaway.

In 2014, 10 months into being an Account Handler I was offered the opportunity to go into Product Development. Since then I have been able to learn more about the company and insurance industry, which has ultimately helped me grow and develop as a person.

I haven’t sat any professional qualifications yet but I am looking to enrol on the CII fast track course.

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