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Richard shares his passion for cooking thanks to Fair Start Scotland

Updated: Sep 15, 2021

Richard gains a new lease of life and becomes a tech genius using his new skills to help young people in Aberdeen.

Why Richard joined Fair Start Scotland

Prior to joining Fair Start Scotland Richard worked as a chef and had lots of experience in this area.

After completing an Aberdeen Foyer Employability course, Richard was keen to access the support services Fair Start Scotland had to offer.

From the outset, Richard struggled with technology, he knew that he needed to have a basic knowledge of IT to secure employment in this new world.

How Fair Start Scotland helped?

The national lockdown impacted on a lot of work areas, with the hospitality sector being one of the hardest hit. Richard was unable to feel positive about his future as the industry wasn’t recruiting due to all of the uncertainty.

Development coach Wullie noticed Richard’s fear and focused on his confidence. He also looked at what skills would make him more employable which would add value to his CV.

Richard struggled with his jobsearch at home, as he did not have access to a computer or the internet. To overcome this barrier, Wullie was able to source a tablet and a mobile WIFI device so that Richard could start attending IT courses to help learn the basics in IT.

Over time, Richard’s IT knowledge began to improve and Wullie encouraged him to start using video conferencing apps so that he could become more confident when taking part in virtual interviews. Richard was not overly keen on doing this, so to help overcome his fear Wullie suggested a volunteering role with Aberdeen Foyer. This role was in Richard’s comfort zone as he was able to use his cooking skills to help Foyer staff create cooking sessions with young people – giving them life skills.

After discussing the new volunteering position, Richard saw it as a great opportunity to build on his technology skills while also gaining a new skill in teaching. All of the new skills Richard has gained along the way helped him to widen his jobsearch.

Getting the job

Richard prepared and planned the cooking sessions, completed the menu and shopping list then started to deliver weekly sessions with the support of Wullie. Each week his confidence grew, and he has now regained his passion for cooking along with embracing new technology. He now feels less self-conscious being on screen and has been receiving amazing feedback from the young people attending the sessions.

Richard is now hopeful of finding a job as a chef and is now willing to travel across Scotland if required. He is also thinking about moving to Australia, which is an idea he had put off due to his lack of self-confidence.

Wullie helped him to update his CV to reflect all the work he has now done along with creating a new covering letter to sell all of his newfound skills. They are planning to circulate his CV to hotels and restaurants particularly focusing on holiday destinations.


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