Phoebe turned her passion for baking into a career.
A new challenge
Phoebe, from Penarth, studied Art and Ceramics at University of the Arts, London. Today, she is working as a Pastry Chef back home in Wales, turning her passion for home baking into a new career.
The COVID-19 pandemic started while Phoebe was in her third year at university – so she decided to return to Wales to finish her degree from home.
Graduating in 2020 and armed with her degree, Phoebe wasn’t sure what she wanted to do for a career, and took a retail job over the Christmas period that year.
After that ended, she continued looking for a new role to kickstart her future outside of education.
Phoebe explained: “It was a really competitive time to look for work during the pandemic, but I persevered and did lots of research on what support was available out there.
“My Universal Credit advisor informed me about a new government scheme that could support me with finding job opportunities. That’s how I found the role for Pastry Chef at Coffi Co, which looked like the dream job for me so I decided to apply. They were really quick to get back to me and offer me an interview and two weeks’ later I had started the job.”
Doing what she loves
Phoebe explained: “I’m a home baker and I’ve always loved cooking and baking at home for people close to me. Now being able to bake all day is the dream, as I’m getting paid to do what I love.”
“I never imagined I’d actually be able to turn my passion into a job. I felt this position was a bit out of my league, and I would never have applied for it outside of this scheme, because I wouldn’t have felt qualified for it.
“Finding this role gave me the opportunity to feel like there was learning wiggle room, which made it much less stressful and daunting starting a new role.
“At Coffi Co they openly accept you can come into a role and learn as you go. I love learning new skills and it was freeing to know I could throw myself into something where I didn’t necessarily have all the qualifications already in place.
“As well as that, everyone on the team is so nice and it’s an easy environment to be in. Lots of other people on the team are also quite young, but we all get along well and learn from each other. It’s a really positive place to be and it’s really built my confidence up.”
After the initial six-month government scheme ended, Phoebe was offered a permanent role and in April 2021, she started her full-time employment as a Pastry Chef.
Opportunities to grow
Since working for Coffi Co, Phoebe has continued to develop her skills.
She explained: “Since joining Coffi Co I’ve done my Health and Hygiene qualification and have been learning on the job.”
Not only has the new role given Phoebe career prospects, but she admits that it’s helped her to grow as a person too. “It’s definitely made me more social since starting this role, and it’s boosted my confidence because it’s made me feel like ‘I can do this’ rather than feeling like I don’t belong.”
Offering advice to other people who may have gone through a similar situation after leaving education, she stated:
“I would recommend anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation have a look at the available government support schemes. There is lots of support out there for you, even if you don’t know what you want to do in your career. Without the help I received, I don’t know if I’d be doing something I love as much as my current job.”
If you’re aged 16 or over and would like to explore your opportunities with a careers adviser, please contact the Working Wales team by calling free on 0800 028 4844, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or through our live chat.
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