TAKEETHA FORSTER, 27, from Wood Farm

Looking for work in: Catering, hospitality, bar, as kitchen assistant, in customer service and retail
Experience: Retail sales assistant, money handling, till work, food preparation, customer service
Qualifications: Educated to secondary school level [no GCSEs]. Completed an A4e course in care work
City and Guild qualification in IT

MUM-of-two Takeetha Forster is hoping her love and experience of cooking will help land her a job in the catering industry.

The 27-year-old from Wood Farm has been out of work since having her first child, Ciara, six, and becoming a full-time mum.

She went on to have a second daughter, Summer, aged three.

The keen baker’s last job was bar work and front-of-house work at Gala bingo, where she worked for a year.

With past retail and food preparation experience, Ms Forster is hoping the skills she has learned will stand her in good stead with potential employers in those industries.

Ms Forster, who lives with her partner Steven, said: “I have been cooking since I was seven.
“If I read a recipe once, I can remember it.

“I do enjoy cooking – my favourites really are cakes and sweets. I like making them – my kids love them!”

She added: “I am friendly, willing to learn new skills and I have some retail experience.

“If I got a job, my daughters will be so happy because I would have more money to spend on them.

“It has been hard because I was used to working and it was a big change to be stuck at home with kids. Also, my eldest is at school now and youngest at nursery, which leaves me at home.

“I am quite keen to work, I don’t want to be on the dole – I would rather be out there working.”
In her spare time, she has helped elderly neighbours by shopping and cleaning.

GRAHAM BATES, 20, from Botley

Looking for an apprenticeship or work in: Outdoor ground maintenance

Experience: Six months working for a ground maintenance company until June 2011.

No qualifications .

AFTER more than 2,000 applications and 80 interviews, dad-of-one Graham Bates is still determined to find a gardening job.

The 20-year-old from Botley is hoping to find employment to support his seven-month-old son Jayden and partner Joanne Parrott, 20.

He has been out of work for more than a year, after his first and only job – a six-month contract with a ground maintenance company – ended in June 2011.

Mr Bates said: “At the moment I am out of work because I have been caring for my son and my partner who had bad post-natal depression.

“But she is getting better so I am actively looking for work.”

The keen gardener has turned his life around after getting into gang crime and becoming addicted to cannabis and alcohol as a teenager.

Free of addictions, he said: “When I was 18 I got out of the gangs and started to settle down and think what I wanted to do with my life.”

He said it’s been impossible to get a job because of his lack of GCSEs .

But Mr Bates said: “I don’t have any qualifications on paper, but I have knowledge on how to do things. Anything to do with gardening, I can do. I am very willing to learn and I want to learn new skills and build on my knowledge.”

He wants to gain experience through work placements or an apprenticeship.

He hopes eventually to gain enough experience and skills to start his own business.


Graham Bates, 20, from Botley, looking for work as a gardener

Jacob Ayres, 21, from Iffley, wants job as a cleaner or labourer

Peter Stopps, 23, from Drayton, looking for a catering role or work in a warehouse

Claire Harris, 19, from Kennington, looking for work in animal care, catering or retail

Phillip Ridgley, 48, from Barton, looking for work in retail or care work

Takeetha Forster, 27, from Wood Farm, looking for work in retail, catering or a bar

Daniel Lawson-May, 39, from Cowley, looking for administration work

Bishna Rai, 44, from Rose Hill, looking for work in professional cleaning (industrial and domestic), security or in a warehouse

Sameena Hussain, 33, from Marston, looking for work as a receptionist or administrator or a customer service role

Dawn Bartlett, 37, from Alvescot, looking for work in care, but would also consider roles cleaning, waitressing and bar work

Monica Montanari, 48, from Blackbird Leys, looking for work in retail

Eileen Lavery, 47, from Didcot, looking for a catering role, bar work or factory work