From education to employment

Work placement success for Customer Service student

A Customer Service student from Solihull College & University Centre has secured a permanent role with The Strawberry Bank after completing 315 hours of work placement with them as part of his course.

Jake Howard, 17 from Coventry, chose to study Customer Service as he had initially wanted to work within the rail industry. He explains: “I researched the various roles available within the rail industry and what skills are needed. What I noticed was that for almost all the jobs, a key requirement was customer service skills. So, I decided this course would open lots of doors for me.”

As part of their course, students are required to obtain a minimum of 30 hours of work experience. To support students in completing this requirement, the College has a designated Work Placement Team that builds and maintains relations with a wide range of local employers from various industries.

Emma Richards, Work Placement Coordinator, supported Jake in finding lots of different placement opportunities but when Jake shared that he specifically wanted to work at The Strawberry Bank, Emma contacted them and ensured Jake could complete 315 hours over 45 days of work experience there as a Waiter.

Jake thoroughly enjoyed his work placement and has secured a permanent part time role there which he balances with his course at the College.

Jake has Autism and ADHD and was diagnosed at the age of 14, he shares: “My brain works differently to everyone else, for example sometimes when someone is explaining something everyone else might get it, but I won’t, I need things broken down. It’s not something I’ve had to open up about in lessons as I’ve not really needed to here.”

He adds: “I would highly recommend this course to other people as it’s skill based and very to the point, they don’t explain things for hours and hours, they’re concise.”

Progressing onto a Hospitality course at the College in September, Jake is looking forward to continuing working at The Strawberry Bank and hopefully progressing his career there as he gains more experience and qualifications at the College.

He says: “The highlight of my time on the course is the people I have met, I’ve made lifelong friends and it’s a place where I’ve been able to share my humour, from time to time.”

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