Support leads to Success: Karys Stephen’s Story

18-year-old Karys sought to enhance her skills and gain practical work experience to bolster her CV for future job prospects. However, she grappled with uncertainty about the right path forward, compounded by anxiety and low self-esteem. Karys found her solution through the Jobs Growth Wales+ programme, where she received tailored assistance from Itec’s team, including Employability Officer Donna Britton and Learner Coach Courtenay Phillips.

Under their guidance, Karys excelled in her studies at Itec’s facility, diligently following the curriculum and performing admirably in various tasks, signaling her readiness to embark on her employment journey. Embracing the opportunity, she accepted a work placement at McKenzie’s Café in Blackwood, continuing her skills development and immersion into the working world.

Donna and Courtenay provided continuous support to Karys, maintaining regular communication with her employer to ensure seamless integration into the workforce. Thriving in her placement, Karys experienced a significant boost in confidence, acquiring valuable skills in hospitality such as waitressing and cashier responsibilities. Displaying maturity and a strong work ethic, she forged connections with customers and felt a sense of belonging within the team.

Furthermore, Karys successfully completed Customer Service and Hospitality qualifications, affirming her readiness for full-time employment. Recognising her contributions, her employer said: “Karys works extremely hard and has earned employment at our Café. I would go as far as saying she could run the place in my absence” 

Karys shared her thoughts on her experience by stating  “ I enjoy working here and I like the fast-paced environment. I have learned every role in the Café and it has given me confidence.”