An often overlooked side of Active in HELL (AiH) is how it prepares trainees for life in the wider world through the associated lessons that come with having paid employment. For Elizabeth Fa’, who completed her traineeship at the Newlands, Wellington store, this was crucial for her personal development.
AiH, the paid training scheme run through HELL Pizza store kitchens, is awesome at teaching trainees the practical skills they need to thrive in a busy commercial kitchen. Chopping, stacking and making boxes are par for the course within the program. It’s also brilliant at teaching people about life skills.
Elizabeth could handle the practical no problem, a prior stint as a kitchen volunteer provided a foundation of knowledge she could draw from. Where Active in HELL really came into its own is with the other stuff, the boring stuff – life admin.
For Elizabeth, learning about paperwork and money management is an important and necessary part of her education, explains her Choices NZ facilitator Rosie McRobie.
“As well as practical knowledge, Active in HELL provides trainees with an opportunity to get to grips with life skills. As this was Elizabeth’s first paid work opportunity, we had lots of learning around opening bank accounts, what tax is and what it’s used for and how to set up a KiwiSaver – all of which will have real value when she finds employment.”
Elizabeth was able to overcome additional challenges easily – such as learning how to get two busses from her Wellington home out to Newlands.
She showed a strong desire to work and played an important role in the team, which impressed Newlands manager Ranie Liua’ana
“Elizabeth had a really strong work ethic. She was tremendously efficient, especially at making our pizza boxes, and is a fast worker. She’d complete tasks so quickly, I had to keep thinking of things for her to do! She learned her role faster than any other Active in HELL trainee.
“Not only was she quick and efficient, she took pressure off other HELL staff during busier hours.”
Elizabeth carried out a number of different tasks in the store, and says she wasn’t afraid to raise her voice when she felt it was necessary.
“I learned how to chop up vegetables, fold boxes and fill the sauce pots. I also learned that it’s okay to ask for help when things get hard, as well as some important life skills.”
Stacking shelves in a supermarket is a dream job for Elizabeth, because she thinks she’d enjoy the work and is well suited to the demands of the job. Thanks to her time at Newlands, she now feels far more equipped to deal with the realities of that role.
“I feel really prepared thanks to the training HELL gave me, I’m a lot more confident and learned a lot of new skills.”