Belfast Telegraph

Ex-bricky cooks up new career

By David Elliot

The downturn in the construction industry has left many in the building industry out of work, but one man has managed to build a successful career in a completely different industry.

When self-employed bricklayer Paddy McAuley found himself with a dearth of business he signed up for a job as a dishwasher at the Burrendale Hotel. He has since retrained and worked his way up the ladder after impressing head chef Ciaran Sansome.

He now works as preparation chef and has just completed his Level 2 Professional Cookery qualification at South Eastern Regional College.

"As a bricklayer of 20 years it was very difficult for me when the work dried up. I was not used to being out of work and missed the routine it provided," Paddy said. "I suppose I stumbled into a new career in the hospitality industry but I am very happy that I have been able to turn my hand to another trade. It was a big step returning to college. It had been a long time since I had studied and the prospect of going back to 'school' was a daunting one.

"The difference in my life is amazing; not only have I embarked on a new career but I have also met some wonderful people. Michelle McCarthy, Michael Gillies and Ciaran Sansome have been inspiring.

"I look forward to gaining further qualifications and more experience within the hospitality industry. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of a new career to go for it, it's never too late."