From Work Experience to Employment

DYW West Highland are delighted to share with you the successful work experience placement of Robert Barker, who after completing a work placement at Café Sia has now been offered a career to build on his current set of hospitality talents and capabilities.

Whilst in Portree High School, Robert loved Art and Home Economics where he was inspired by his Home Economics teacher, Ms MacKinnon. He enjoyed being challenged with ingredients to make dishes and to be kept busy so a career in hospitality was an obvious choice.

Robert started his kitchen assistant work experience placement with Café Sia owner, Tom Eveling who took Robert on for most of May to hone his skills and ability to work in a fast paced environment. Tom has been so appreciative of Robert, who commented:

“Tom is such a great boss who is friendly, professional and keeps me on track.”

Robert is loving working in the kitchen and has also received training on how to use a wood fired oven whilst developing all of his employability skills to become a great employee. Daily duties included assisting the pizza chef prepare the pizza dough, sauce and toppings, finally earning Robert a full time job where he will continue to be a real asset to the hospitality team. Robert commented further:

“The opportunity that Café Sia gave me for work experience was such a great opportunity to develop skills needed to go into this job full time. I will leave school one day and be in full time employment the next day, so I feel more confident and useful around my future colleagues and could not have asked for anything better.”

Café Sia has also thoroughly enjoyed having Robert to help him develop his career as Tom stated:

“It’s always a pleasure to have young people come through here either on work placements or apprenticeships and watch their development as they prepare themselves for a life in a professional working environment.”

A massive well done goes to Robert and we wish him all the best in his future career. Appreciation and thanks also goes to Café Sia for their role in developing the young workforce!

If you would like to find out more information about becoming involved in work experience, click here or visit Hi-Hope where there are lots of work experiences opportunities for high school pupils throughout the Highlands. If you would like to find out about apprenticeship opportunities, please visit 

Alternatively contact the DYW West Highland team on: / 01397 705 765 / Facebook / Twitter or call in and see us in the office at 15 High Street, Fort William, PH33 6DH