Whitbread – case study of a young person`s journey to employment

Journey to employment: Willermine Yagi
Willermine Yagi is a young person that
wants to work.
In August last year, she took the step of
signing on due to having no other option
as she was unable to secure employment.
Then one day at a local job centre plus
office, Willermine saw an advert of “ Get
into Hospitality” which was organised by
the Prince’s trust charity. Through this
Willermine secured a work placement
with Marriott for two weeks with others
in the same position.
On the back of this Willermine gained some valuable experience in hospitality, but unfortunately the
Marriott were unable to offer her a position.
Willermine Yagi was first exposed to Whitbread and Premier Inn as part of the ‘Big Conversation ’ in London
in February this year. Willermine ‘filled in’ on stage to be interviewed by the editor of ‘The Caterer’ in front
of over 100 top hospitality industry professionals in London with two other young people that had already
secured employment. At the end of the session Willermine ended up speaking to John Forrest. COO for
Premier Inn ,John asked if Willermine was serious about getting into work, through a two week work
experience, Willermine’s response was convincing enough for John to give her his personal email!
Willermine emailed John the next day and secured an interview with Sarah Frost Cluster General Manager
that same day. Willermine met Sarah in Euston Premier Inn and discussed the structure of the work
placement and locations available. Hampstead Premier Inn was ideal, especially as there was an imminent
opportunity to join the reception team . Willermine was extremely shy in her first week and almost in awe of
the team and the juggling acts they seemed to achieve on a daily basis. In the second week after a very
motivational and tough chat with a couple of the team in Hampstead, Willermine started going for it! She
started believing that she could be a Premier Inn Reception Team Member, she started showing more
confidence, trying to use the system, pick up the phone, all with the support of the team in Hampstead. By
the end of week two, it wasn’t Billy Venter the Operations Manager that offered her the position, it was the
Willermine joined the team officially at the beginning of March and since then she has gone from strength to
strength. She now exudes confidence and has become competent with the shift responsibilities and bar
system very quickly. Willermine has since been sponsored by Billy to join the Premier Inn Hospitality
Apprenticeship. Willermine is determined to make a career in hospitality, this is certainly a progression for
someone that has previously not considered hospitality as career. It is a dream come true for Willermine
that she is able to progress in a company and have a career even without any previous experience or