News / A New Career Calling

With a wide range of qualifications including Astrophysics and a Batchelor in Pure and Applied Mathematics, and with over 40 years in the technology and computer industry in Hong Kong Alex Wai Wing Yeung retired and moved to Cardiff to be near his children who are studying in Cardiff.

Having spent time travelling the world with his previous job and staying in hundreds of hotels he had a good understanding of the demands and expectations of hotel customers. In July 2021, not wanting to continue in the high pressured industry he’d spent most of his life Alex changed career path completely by deciding to work in the hospitality industry and started working as a kitchen porter at Novotel (Cardiff Centre).
Alex’s managers quickly identified his hidden talents and discussed opportunities with him to progress within the workplace. Alex enrolled onto a Level 3 Hospitality Supervision and Leadership course with Babcock Training and using his extensive set of skills which he was able to apply to a new industry, he quickly progressed within the hotel. He has shown he is ambitious and extremely dedicated, starting as a Kitchen Porter, promoted to a chef position and then a front of house role.

He has taken the Babcock programme in his stride managing his time working within different departments and shifts, familiarising himself with the qualification standards before enrolling, continuously using the Babcock online learning platform and always completes his assignments before the expected timelines. He even goes to the library to learn Welsh!

Rayan Pankiraj, Alex’s manager, comments, “Alex has become a real asset to the company and has made real progress in his ability to complete tasks. He is extremely valuable to Novotel, showing an excellent attitude and a flexible approach to work across multiple departments whilst maintaining the high standards he sets for himself.

Alex is always punctual and extremely prepared each day he comes to work. Whilst he has been on the programme with Babcock, he has really developed within the hotel, making key contributions towards tasks and the running of the hotel. He is always willing to do more. Alex keeps me updated with his progress on the course and we always look to provide him with the opportunities to upskill and learn.”

Reflecting on his apprenticeship, Alex said, “Not long after deciding to embark on my apprenticeship, I was referred to meet Marika from Babcock, my ever-present trainer. Marika is a vastly experienced trainer and is very knowledgeable about the industry. She has given me professional advice from day one.

Working full time in the hotel, I spend an additional 3-5 hours every week studying and completing assignments, which is reasonable and manageable without impacting my family life. I am confident I shall be able to finish the Level 3 Diploma in Hospitality and Leadership soon. Most importantly, the course benefits me in terms of personal development.

Alongside the training so far, I have been given opportunities to learn in different sections of the hotel that I find interesting and challenging. I now have the opportunity to pass on my skills to others from various departments and make them work together even smoother.

I would recommend Babcock’s training to employees and friends in the hospitality industry and to those that are still at a crossroads.”

Alex has proven that his apprenticeship has been beneficial and helped him gain more knowledge. He is now working closely with his manager Rayan and has many more responsibilities. He is proof that apprenticeships can help to forge a new career and age is not a barrier to success.

Alex Wai Wing Yeung
Alex, alongside Food & Beverage Manager, Barbara Gawronska

Babcock Training have been delivering a range of hospitality and customer service qualifications, in partnership with Novotel Cardiff (part of the Accor group) for many years and delivered over 25 apprenticeships to colleagues at the Cardiff site. The General Managers continuously promote our apprenticeships to all their staff, which has helped create meaningful experiences and relationships within the company. Marika Budna, a specialist hospitality Trainer is currently working with 3 Novotel sites in Wales and has 10 apprentices on programme.