Andrew at workAndrew came to Barnet and Southgate College to see how he could be helped. He was only 15, but didn't like school at all because he was bullied due to his behaviour. Andrew knew it was because of his autism that he was bullied, but he nonetheless had a dream of being the new Jamie Oliver.

An inspirational example

Andrew is an inspirational example of how an autistic student can achieve and thrive within an FE environment. His transition from specialist learning difficulties provision to success on mainstream vocational courses, qualifications and work placement is an outstanding example of good practice.

When he turned 16, Andrew started the LLDD Literacy Numeracy at Entry 1 and the Workskills course at the College, where he completed the Edexcel pilot of the new Foundation Learning Pathway to Supported Employment.

Andrew then left the LLDD provision and progressed onto Catering at 17. He completed a BTEC in Entry Level Catering Skills at E2/E3.

Andrew further develops his skills

After this Andrew was able to further develop his skills and went on to the Level 1 Catering programme, and soon completed his Food Hygiene Certificate, and more qualifications in Restaurant Skills and Customer Service. He has also achieved his Barista Level 2 qualification.

Andrew is now on the Level 2 NVQ programme for Catering, concentrating on Pastry, and working in the College’s Pavilion Restaurant. He also is a student rep and regularly attends meetings helping other learners within the College.

In all areas of study, Andrew has had to work with members of the public, undertake work experience, and has been in paid employment during the summer breaks. He has attended several external events such as catering for the University of London Officer Training Corps.

A successful work placement

The College received very positive feedback about Andrew from his placement at the Three Hammers pub in Mill Hill - a customer in the restaurant said that Andrew was the best waiter she has been served by.

Andrew should achieve his Level 2 in Food and Beverage Service by July, together with a Level 2 in Nutrition. He is well liked by both staff and his peers, and Head of Catering and Hospitality Miles Holtby said: "I have seen a marked change in Andrew since he started with us. He is much more confident and mixes with all the other students freely."

Andrew’s initial ambition is as strong as ever. Speaking in the Pavilion Restaurant before yet another service he said: "I really want to manage somewhere like this one day."

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