Gary Sinka

Referral details

Gary found out about the course through Blackpool Job Centre.

Gary’s journey so far

Gary has worked in the hospitality industry for 30 years, during which time he has held a range of ‘front of house’ roles including team leader and management roles. During his career, Gary has worked for Gatwick Airport, Wetherspoons, Butlins, Pontins, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and the Crown and Sceptre in Wales where he worked as a manager.

Gary’s last role was with The Merry England Bar, and as the season ended in 2016, he found himself unemployed. During the 3 months unemployed, Gary decided to use his free time effectively and asked his job centre advisor about courses he could attend that would help improve his employability skills related to the industry. Gary was also very interested in gaining ICT skills (something he hadn’t got) he was very aware of the need to make himself more employable and the need for ICT in hospitality to operate in-house systems.

Gary’s previous qualifications include City and Guilds in Silver Service, Health and Hygiene Level 2 and First Aid

Nature of support provided:

Gary attended the 8-week ‘Skills for Employment’ course at Seasiders Learning Centre, where he brushed up on his employability skills related to hospitality. Gary felt the course improved his confidence considerably and he really enjoyed assisting his classmates with activities and developed his public speaking skills. Gary also achieved L1 Personal Award in Social Development, and a Functional Skills E2 ICT qualification.

Gary really enjoyed the course and found the tutors to be very helpful and supportive. They assisted him with his job searching skills, CV writing, Interview Skills, but most importantly for Gary was the ICT skills.

How has Gary benefited from being involved

Gary had applied for jobs while on the course and was successful! Gary now works at the Stretton Hotel; hired as a bar man Gary has impressed his managers so much in the 2 weeks he has worked there, he has been given responsibility for 3 bars, cellars, and the lodge (a party element of the hotel). Gary is also responsible for booking in late arrivals, making bookings for the hotel rooms over the telephone and locking up the hotel.
Gary has been able to apply his new ICT skills to operate the in-house booking systems and check for room availability; before the course Gary would not have been able to do this.

Additionally due to his successful outcome Gary has been put forward for the annual ‘Student of the Year’ award for the college.

Skills learned

Gary gained his required ICT skills to help with his chances of gaining employment and to improve productivity whilst in the workplace. Additionally, as well as the L1 Personal Award in Social Development, he gained valuable skills such as; CV writing, public speaking and Interview Skills.

In his role as bar man, Gary has very quickly identified surplus slow moving stock and intends to develop a range of cocktails to increase sales and sell the surplus stock e.g. mixers. Gary is hoping to be offered a managers role within the hotel in the near future, but in the meantime he is really enjoying his full time position.

Barriers overcome

Gary lacked confidence in interviews, public speaking and ICT. The course ensured these issues were addressed and with a newly formatted CV that focused on his specific hospitality skills and thorough interview preparation he managed to re gain employment.

What did Gary have to say about the Access to Employment programme?

“I feel the course has really improved my confidence and made it possible for me to get back into work”.