Naim Mohammad, 23 from Small Heath, has recently completed a two-day supported internship at the International Conference Centre (ICC), assisting in the delivery of the Association of Colleges (AoC) annual conference. Naim is completing his Supported Internship in the Supported Learning Department at South & City College Birmingham’s Longbridge (Bournville College) campus.
The process started in September when with the help of Jacqui Isaac, his tutor, Naim, applied for a role to work in the kitchens at the ICC supporting the two-day conference.
When Naim found his application had been successful, he felt both excited and nervous, as he wasn’t sure what to expect. During his two days, he practised skills learned in college such as cutting fruit and vegetables, preparing and plating meals, customer service and communication. A new skill Naim learned during his time was how to sauté vegetables using a wok, and he was keen to add that nothing was spilled.
When talking about how he was supported during his internship, Naim explained that Jacqui attended the conference on both days to see how he was progressing and provide some moral support. The ICC staff also offered plenty of encouragement and tuition.
Naim added, “I’m so happy to have completed this work experience. It has given me more confidence, and I will be slightly less nervous next time. Now, I’m looking for more work experience opportunities and would love to start an apprenticeship in a restaurant, as my ambition is to become a pastry chef.”
When asked what advice he would give to others in a similar position to himself, he said: “Don’t be nervous, don’t be afraid to ask for support and take as many opportunities as you can for work experience.”
Naim wanted to give a big “thank you” to all of the professional chefs at the ICC and to those that gave him the opportunity.
Jacqui added, “We would like to thank the AoC Event organisers for giving Naim the opportunity to gain some work experience, working in a professional kitchen.
“Naim expressed an interest in catering whilst on the internship programme and it was important for him to access the work experience that he wanted. I am really proud of how hard he worked over the two days. The work experience has supported Naim with making the decision to pursue a career in catering and I believe that he has the potential to gain employment working in the catering industry.
“It is important for employers to understand that SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) students can gain the skills required for employment. Moving forward, it would be great to see more employers and organisations offering SEND students work experience opportunities.”