22 year old Bilal Mian from London is carving out a career with Starbucks, thanks to a partnership between Hammersmith College and Remploy, the disability employment specialists.
Bilal, who lives at home with his parents and two siblings, has Down's syndrome. He found employment through a one year programme giving people with a learning disability the opportunity to experience a series of short work placements, to see which job role they are suited to.
Thanks to Bilal’s new found confidence, skills he learnt on the programme and with support from his Remploy Employment Advisor, Bilal managed to get his CV in front of the manager at Starbucks in Westfield shopping centre.
“I really enjoy working at Starbucks,” said Bilal. “At the moment I am responsible for checking the customers are happy and that the cafe is clean and tidy. Before I got this job I used to stay at home a lot but now I’m working I go out a lot more to meet people, instead of just spending time with my family.”
Remploy Employment Advisor Ibrahim Sowe worked with Bilal and accompanied him to open days with different employers, so he could find out about working with them.
Ibrahim said: “Bilal has such a positive attitude and really wanted to work but he was so nervous sometimes he wouldn’t speak. Bilal was really keen to work for Starbucks, so we made a proactive approach together. He’s doing so well, is well-respected by his colleagues and is a valued member of the team.”
Bilal is now keen to try different roles at Starbucks with an ultimate goal of becoming a fully trained barista.
James Keen, Bilal’s store manager said: “Bilal is very enthusiastic and popular with the rest of the team and our customers - he is always smiling and raring to go!”