Job seekers taste working life at Oaks Hotel

Michael Muldowney (left), on work experience at The Best Western Oaks Hotel with Head Chef Lee Brown
Michael Muldowney (left), on work experience at The Best Western Oaks Hotel with Head Chef Lee Brown
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Four job seekers sampled what life was like to work in a hotel as part of a Job Centre Plus scheme.

The service teamed up with Best Western Hotels to offer four people with health problems the chance to work at Burnley’s Oaks Hotel.

From left, Julie Shackleton (LCC Employment Support Services), Julia Dawes (Disability Work Coach), David Martin (Best Western Oaks Hotel Manager) and Fabian Wallbank (Job Centre Plus) and the Disability Award

From left, Julie Shackleton (LCC Employment Support Services), Julia Dawes (Disability Work Coach), David Martin (Best Western Oaks Hotel Manager) and Fabian Wallbank (Job Centre Plus) and the Disability Award

The hotel in Reedley was also presented with a Disability Symbol Employer award for its part in employing disabled people.

Hayley Hollinrake (34) worked in the hotel’s reception, Nicola Boyd (32) worked in housekeeping, Mark Fletcher (39) worked in conferencing and Michael Muldowney (46) helped in the hotel’s kitchen.

Michael said: “I have really enjoyed working in the kitchen. It gives me an option for the future now and has definitely improved my confidence.”

Oaks General manager David Martin said: “We were very impressed by all of the job seekers who came to us. I think it will have given them valuable experience of working in the hotel industry.”

This has been a unique scheme which has been a fantastic experience for the people involved

Fabian Wallbank, Burnley Job Centre Plus manager

The number of disabled people in employment in the North-West has risen by more than 25,000 over the past year.

Fabian Wallbank, Burnley Job Centre Plus manager, said: “We have been placing people in jobs in the hospitality industry across the country, and this scheme has been aimed at helping people with health problems.

“We simulated an actual recruitment exercise where the four attended an interview, filled out application forms and did a day at work.

“This has been a unique scheme which has been a fantastic experience for the people involved.”

Mark Fletcher (left) from Burnley, on work experience at The Best Western Oaks Hotel with Assistant Manager Dan Balshaw

Mark Fletcher (left) from Burnley, on work experience at The Best Western Oaks Hotel with Assistant Manager Dan Balshaw

Lancashire County Council Employment Support Service supports individuals who consider themselves to have disabilities and are disadvantaged when seeking paid employment.

The service covers various projects including workchoice, community re-start and transitions as well as having specialist autism employment officers.

Nicola Boyd from Burnley on work experience at The Oaks Hotel

Nicola Boyd from Burnley on work experience at The Oaks Hotel