Former Derwen College student, AG learnt housekeeping skills at the College’s Hotel 751 training hotel, before progressing to work placements and eventually paid work at Oswestry Premier Inn.
The Premier Inn app has been an important factor in that journey to employment.
Hospitality and Housekeeping student, AG was a day student who began work placements at the College’s Orangery Restaurant, College Food Centre, the local Station Café (which is run by Derwen College) and training hotel, Hotel 751.
The Premier Inn app
AG, who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder and learning difficulties was one of the first students to use the Premier Inn housekeeping app to support his work placement in the College training hotel. With some initial support, AG quickly became used to using the app to guide him through the housekeeping routine required to turn over a room to Premier Inn standards.
He was happy to follow the colour-coded ‘routes’ for each separate task, and preferred to use the video option which demonstrated each job through short films with voiceover; other options include Makaton signs and words with pictures as reminders of the routine.
Growing in confidence
We saw AG’s confidence grow as he became more familiar with the routine, he needed minimal teacher support. He was able to secure a weekly work placement at the local Premier Inn Hotel, using the app as a back-up.
During College Open Days, AG would be the first to volunteer to demonstrate to visitors how the app worked, and how efficiently he could make a bed or clean a bathroom. We saw AG blossom from the anxious student looking for teacher reassurance into a young man who could explain his housekeeping role to an audience of parents, businesspeople or guests.
When AG finished at Derwen College in July 2019, he was delighted to be offered paid employment at Premier Inn, Oswestry, close to his home. He asked for the app to be transferred to his personal mobile phone so that he always had a ‘safety net’ if he was feeling anxious or uncertain.
AG works three four-hour shifts a week and relishes his work.
“I like my job. Everyone is really nice and helpful and they chat to me. Guests say ‘Good Morning’ and I say ‘Good Morning’ back.
“I use the app on my phone.
“The app has helped me a lot to get things in the right order. Sometimes I do forget things and I can use the app for a prompt.
“I like using the videos. It means I can work independently without support. I can work pretty much on my own now. Although other staff are always interested in the app.
“It’s really good to have a job with money!”
AG’s mum says:
“AG was excited to be able to start work at Premier Inn immediately after leaving Derwen College. He finished college on the Friday and started his first paid shift immediately the next Monday. Support from Derwen College and the team at Premier Inn has enabled him to find a job that he loves.
“The app has given him the confidence to get on with this day-to-day work with minimal extra support. He loves to be independent and the app means he can check his own work without feeling he’s making mistakes or needing help. It is very important to him to be independent. He can be like any other member of staff at Premier Inn, and is a genuine part of the team which has raised his self-esteem. He can’t wait to join the team for the Christmas party!”
AG’s new-found confidence and independence skills are also enabling him to move out of his parents’ home into supported living. He is moving into a house with three other young people in early 2020.
We believe that for AG, the Premier Inn app enabled him to overcome barriers to achieve paid employment and independent living. The hospitality and housekeeping team were as proud as he was, when he sent them a photograph of himself holding his first ever pay cheque!