Mark's brilliant start to 2021

Once again, Mark’s story illustrates the huge difference that a year can make


When Mark joined NOW Group in late April of last year, he knew he wanted to progress his career in catering.


Having recently been furloughed from his 3.5 hours per week kitchen job with L’Arche, he felt that this was a good opportunity to seek the support that would help him move his aspirations forward.


Mark’s first positive step was to complete his Jobs Skills e-learning training, and he also spent this time getting to know his VERVE Job Officer, Karen Sullivan.

During May, however, he encountered a big setback: he was let go from L’Arche. And while he worked through this disappointment by searching for jobs and filling out application forms with Karen, this was to prove a challenging time for Mark.


Then, in October, there was a breakthrough. Now Mark was in a position to begin his Loaf Academy training, which would offer him two industry-accredited qualifications and move him that bit closer to achieving his goals.

It was also while completing his training that Mark received some unexpected good news towards the end of the year: he was invited to interview for a Catering Assistant position with Aramark in the Tesco Distribution site on Boucher Road.

This was a very comfortable and rewarding experience for Mark, with Aramark conducting the interview in a way that made him feel more like a chat. He left the interview feeling really happy and confident.


And just as had been the case all along, Mark’s instincts were not mistaken. For 2021 had scarcely begun when he received word that he had been successful in his interview and got the job with Aramark!


Since then, everything has moved very quickly. With just a few training shifts under his belt, Mark completed his first full shift in Aramark on Saturday 16 January.


We are excited for what comes next for Mark and will continue to assist him with a smooth transition into his role. We also look forward to welcoming him back to NOW Group in the near future so that he can finish his Loaf Academy qualification.


Interested in learning more about our support services? Give us a call on 028 9043 6044 or drop us an email at admin@nowgroup.org. Our team is ready to help you into work in 2021.

This project is part funded through the Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020 and the Department for the Economy.