Before starting the Traineeship at Sheffield Wednesday, I had a meeting with Traineeship Officer Alex who explained my pathway to paid employment through the Traineeship route. As a big Owls fan, I was excited to meet at Hillsborough and walk into the stadium. I never knew my club helped fans like me find work! Alex explained that a combination of work experience, qualifications and employability guidance will help me secure employment. Following an induction session that assessed my skills and career ambitions I was matched to a placement at Foodworks.

On the first day of placement, I was given a full tour and explanation of how Foodworks operate. They explained that big suppliers produce a lot of waste and that food works was set up to counter the issue by receiving all the food that would be thrown out and repackage it for a small donation. I was impressed but also shocked at how they were able to save so much wasted food. They then proceeded to show me around the warehouse where I would be working and showing me how everything works, giving me tutorials examples how to do everything. I was shown a spreadsheet that was created for me personally to log and keep track of everything I would be doing over the next 6 weeks, followed by a in depth health and safety and manual lifting induction.

As part of my Traineeship at SWFC I completed customer service training. To put this into practice I was set to a task at Foodworks working on ‘The Market’ serving a variety of customers from all backgrounds, which I quickly picked up and enjoyed more than expected.

My SWFC Traineeship Experience: Jamie

Everyone was so kind and polite and made me feel welcome instantly which has now transformed into a big family. Emily and Sophie (The warehouse managers) were excellent and gave me support, motivation and confidence throughout the placement and gave me so much respect and trust throughout my entire time at food works and never failed to put a smile on my face.

As my confidence increased and my employability skills developed, I progressed onto much more pressured tasks such as taking payments and creating orders for partner hubs which I excelled in due to the help from Emily. I felt more and more trusted as the weeks passed by which made me work harder and harder. I moved on to doing things independently but always had Emily there to ask if I needed advice, doing things independently was great because it showed that I had progressed, and Emily knew that I was doing well. This made Emily challenge me more which was very good and gave me a big opportunity to manage the full warehouse which was something I jump at instantly.

After only a month I found myself in charge of the warehouse which I rose to and exceeded my own expectations making everything run smooth with no problems. The experience will help me in my future jobs and boost my CV massively. In a matter of a few weeks, I felt the most confident I have ever felt in all areas such as customer service, management, communication and trusting myself with big responsibilities.

A few weeks before my traineeship ended, a vacancy for ‘Food Hub Manager’ came up at Foodworks. As this was the same place my placement was at it was something that hugely appealed to me and I knew it would be the perfect job for me. With the support from Alex at Sheffield Wednesday and all the staff at Food Works it was clearly an opportunity to kick start my career without a single doubt in my mind. I worked alongside Alex to perfect my CV and cover letter and prepare for a potential interview. I was also confident enough to seek support from current Foodworks managers to get a good understanding and then put together an application.

To my delight, a week later I was offered an interview. Yet again with the backing and preparation from Alex at SWFC I went into the interview confident which led me to get the job.

I am now in my first few days as a paid employee at Foodworks. I can already tell it is a job that suits me.

Huge thanks to Alex, Sheffield Wednesday and all the Staff at Foodworks that has helped me along the way. Walking into Hillsborough to meet Alex to discuss Traineeships was an amazing decision. I really appreciate the opportunity that Foodworks has given me and I am so excited for the future.