Hello, my name is Chiara Santero, I’m 22 years old and am from Italy. I studied at the ALMA Cookery School where I specialised in being a chef de partie and gained work experience in some Michelin starred restaurants.
I decided to do the Ready for Work programme because I wanted to improve my work experience while increasing my English language skills. I hoped that the programme would also improve the technical language related to catering and I’d be helped in finding a job. Along with that I expected to be followed in the bureaucratic steps in undertaking employment in the UK.
Before coming to the UK and starting the programme, I thought that this experience would be helpful to me to increase my cultural background and also increase the chances of finding a job when I was back in Italy. I chose the student house accommodation because I can manage my times better and I feel more independent, also because it’s more fun to live with people your own age, but of other nationalities. I have my own room and my bathroom is shared with only one other person. The kitchen is spacious and complete with a dishwasher and washing machine.
I like the Ready for Work programme because it met my expectations. The teacher is very patient and thorough. The highlight of the vocational training is when the teacher is focusing on our body language, the importance of the smile when we deal with the customers is the most important thing. I’ve found the most useful training sessions is where we try a simulation of a service. It was very useful!
My 2-week unpaid placement is at the Urban Reef Beach Front restaurant in the Boscombe area of Bournemouth where I will be a chef. At the interview I had a practical skills test which I’m pleased to say I passed! I will be working in the restaurant in three areas: day-time restaurant; evening fine dining and alongside the master baker in the bakery. I start next week after an induction on Friday and I can’t wait! I am excited that I have found a job in this country. I want to get better at my profession and eventually come back to Italy when the economic situation will be improved.
What do I think of Bournemouth? I immediately liked Bournemouth because I think it is well organised with many different things you can do, a city young and fresh. I hope to live here this summer where I can really exceed my expectations.