While serving his sentence at HMP Winchester, Mark Simpson participated in the Premier Inn Employment Academy within the prison. Previously running his own car valeting company, Mark was used to being employed, and strived to use his time in custody positively.
Upon successful completion of the Premier Inn Academy, and once released from prison, Mark was invited to attend an interview for the opportunity to take part in a work placement with the employer; he proved successful, and was selected to complete a four day work placement at Premier Inn, in Portsmouth City Centre.
Mark’s primary goal was to attain employment as soon as possible on release; enabling him to support himself, and begin rebuilding his life.
After the four day placement, the Premier Inn Manager was so impressed; she introduced Mark to Management at the Southampton West Quay Premier Inn, who had a vacancy for a grill chef.
Having worked a further four day placement at Southampton West Quay, the manager made contact with other Premier Inn’s in the Portsmouth area to check for available opportunities. A vacancy was soon found as a Kitchen Team Member at Portsmouth Port Solent, and Mark soon commenced his new job trial.
Premier Inn Assistant Operations Manager, Claire Hutt, was truly impressed with Mark’s ability and work ethic. She said: “Mark worked with us for four evening shifts over an incredibly busy weekend from the 30th June 2016 at Southampton West Quay Premier Inn. He worked hard to settle in his role within the Kitchen, and was very eager to learn regarding Premier Inn, and the Thyme Restaurant.
“Mark assisted with preparing starters and desserts during the main dinner service; some nights exceeding 130 covers. Mark followed the food spec for each dish, to ensure that they were made to the highest standard. Furthermore, Mark worked alongside the second chef to gain an understanding of what is involved in the delivery of the main courses, and assisted throughout service.
“Mark worked hard to incorporate skills that he had learnt previously, and showed an understanding of the Health and Safety and Food Hygiene rules within the kitchen environment. Mark has managed well working in a busy environment, and working with a small team as a Kitchen Assistant. He was a strong contributor to the cleaning and closedown of the kitchen and over time has the potential to gain further experience; working within a team environment to learn from others’ experiences to progress in his own career. Mark was incredibly polite and friendly, and it was great to have him working with us.”