Becky Slapp - Hospitality Staff, The Kitchen

Monday, 11th March 2019

Becky Slapp, 18, from Muir of Ord is ten months into her new job in the hospitality industry and is already enjoying it far more than she could have imagined.

Her role involves serving food and drink to guests as well as helping in the kitchen when needed. The variety in the work and constantly meeting new people, while getting to know the regulars, has been a major draw for Becky, and something she really enjoys.

Before starting her apprenticeship Becky had a very different view of the hospitality industry saying: “I had my first few jobs in hospitality and didn’t particularly enjoy it. Then I got the job I am in currently and it has changed my opinion on hospitality careers completely. I enjoy it a lot more, and now aspire to grow within the company and improve my skills as well as learning new ones.”

Becky was taken aback by the number of doors her role has opened for her saying: “The amount of opportunities I’ve had so far is very surprising. I didn’t expect to gain formal qualifications or even my public licence. I’ve been very impressed with how much I’ve been able to get out of my job.”

As well as her personal licence Becky has been able to complete a range of food, wine and bar training while also gaining formal SVQ qualifications. She has also participated in the OnTrack programme, a scheme backed by Skills Development Scotland to provide high quality training specially tailored to the hospitality and catering industries.

It hasn’t just been qualifications and knowledge that Becky has got out of the job, she has also been able to improve her communication, organise her workload more efficiently and work on problem solving skills through both experience and support from colleagues.

Being placed in a supportive environment has been beneficial to her development commenting: “The managers and staff have been very supportive with the courses and the time I have had to take out to meet with OnTrack and to study.”

One of the big positives about the job for Becky is the fact she is able to live and work in an area she is very familiar with. The thriving tourism industry keeps a steady flow of new faces without having to leave her friends and family to pursue work elsewhere.

Reflecting on her time in school Becky said she didn’t regret leaving but admitted she had been worried about what she would do saying: “I also could not afford to work part time so to find out I can work full time and gain qualifications was such a huge relief”.

After landing on her feet, Becky has no plan to move on any time soon: “I see myself having a future career with The Kitchen, I love my job, I love the people I work with and I love what we do.”

Her advice for anyone considering an apprenticeship? “I was a high school drop-out but I’m succeeding in so many more ways than I expected. Although it’s not what I pictured, I am very content with how much my workplace and the OnTrack course has benefitted me. It was very easy to be introduced to this and I cannot believe the level of support behind me from family, friends, colleagues and managers. I’d definitely encourage anyone to look into an apprenticeship.”