Skip to main content
Welsh Government

Annmarie's story

Annmarie in the care home kitchen she works in

Annmarie found confidence thanks to work opportunities.

Stepping outside her comfort zone

Annmarie, from Pembroke Dock, developed a passion for hospitality and catering after her first job working in her local pub.

She explained: “I loved cooking, but struggled with my communication skills and realised the intensity of working in a pub environment just wasn’t right for me. I left this role to decide what the best next steps were for me.” Annmarie is currently awaiting a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder.

Not wanting to give up on her dream to cook for a living, her foster sister and family encouraged her to contact her local training provider to see what support they could provide. She said: “It’s the best thing I could’ve done – enrolling on the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme has really helped me to develop my skills further.

“I picked up a few basic cooking skills by working in my local pub, but it was my confidence I needed to build and the direction to find the right role for me in the industry. The support, guidance and training I received on the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme has changed everything for me.”

Watch the video

Building confidence

Annmarie said that since being on the programme, she’s not only become a better chef but has developed essential life skills too after being nurtured through a series of volunteering placements in her local area.

She continued: “During my time on the course I developed my skills in baking, cooking, and food presentation thanks to the focus on hands-on learning that gave real-world practical experiences.

“I also noticed my confidence and communication skills grow when I undertook some volunteering work with the British Red Cross in Tenby and with Dezza’s Cabin – a mental health charity local to me. It was really rewarding to help support those in my local area.”

The Jobs Growth Wales+ programme also supported Annmarie in applying for a new job at a nearby care home, Pembroke Haven Residential Home.

She added: “Towards the end of my course, the team helped me with my CV and job application for a role as a chef at my local care home. They supported me through the full application process, as well as being there to coach me through the interview itself.

“I got offered the role of Kitchen Assistant and have loved it ever since. Everyone I work with is so friendly and I’ve loved building relationships with the residents I cook for in the care home too.

“It’s been perfect for me as I get to work with the same, lovely people every day and do a job that makes me happy.”

Career progression

Annmarie has been so successful since joining Pembroke Haven Residential Home that she has already received a promotion.

She continued: “I have developed so much in a short space of time, and I’ve already been promoted to the afternoon shift where I will be authorised to work in the kitchen on my own.

“Earning a wage has given me so much freedom, including being able to fully fund my driving lessons. I’ve recently passed my test and bought my own car which has been life changing!”

Annmarie also has some advice for those who feel stuck at a crossroads after leaving school.

I’d encourage anyone who is feeling lost when leaving school to consider the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme. When I look at myself now compared to where I was at the start of the programme, I have so much more confidence in my abilities – I’ve really come out of my shell."

My dream is to become a manager of a kitchen one day, or even own my own restaurant, pub, or burger van – the opportunities are endless, you’ve just got to have the confidence to go for it.

More information

Jobs Growth Wales Plus

Jobs Growth Wales+ is a training and development programme for 16-19 year olds that gives you the skills, qualifications and experience you need to get a job or further training.