Disabled student lands top chef’s job

·2-min read

A disabled student has landed his dream job at a top restaurant.

Josh Osborn, 30, is now working as a prep chef at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Mr Osborn, who has autism and mental health challenges, was struggling to find work and signed up to a programme offered by the National Star college, near Cheltenham.

Disabled student Josh Osborn, 30, is now working as a prep chef at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire thanks to the National Star (Thousand Word Media/National Star/PA)
Disabled student Josh Osborn, 30, is now working as a prep chef at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire thanks to the National Star (Thousand Word Media/National Star/PA)

He was assigned a personal job coach who worked with him to develop his interview techniques and boosted his CV with extensive work experience placements in the catering sector, helping him to gain relevant qualifications.

“Having Josh, my job coach, made me feel much more reassured and he has helped me in lots of ways, from going to interviews with me to taking me to my first shift at The Ivy at 7am,” said Mr Osborn, who lives in supported accommodation in Gloucester.

“He has even helped me learn to budget so that I have money to pay my bills.”

To enable him to manage in the busy kitchen environment, his job coach helped Mr Osborn break down work into specific tasks and created lists.

“When I get anxious, I start forgetting so breaking things into tasks and putting lists on my phone has helped,” he said.

“I don’t think I would have been able to handle the pressure without the support of my job coach.

“I love this job and don’t want to mess it up.”

Matthew Aldred, head chef at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie, said: “Josh is an integral part of our team and kitchen brigade, and I am excited to see him continue to grow and develop in his role.”

College principal Simon Welch added: “The Ivy has demonstrated that even in a busy commercial kitchen, with just small adjustments, they can attract a more diverse workforce.

“This is a wonderful success story for Josh who has grown in skills and confidence to be able to get paid employment and for The Ivy which has demonstrated an open-door policy and been rewarded with a committed and hardworking young man.”

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