From the “desks” to the professional kitchens!
In the fall of 2019, Caritas Hellas Center for Social Integration and Employability at the Municipal Market of Kipseli, in collaboration with the cooking school “Culinary Center and Cooking Club”, organized an intensive vocational training on Greek Mediterranean cuisine. This is the second time that Caritas Hellas has been collaborating with this school, on an object that seems to have great absorption in Greece and many opportunities for professional rehabilitation for the Social Center’s served population.
The seminar began in October 2019, with 23 participants, with more or less relevant experience, speaking Greek or English. This population was selected with the input of the labor advisor, with the aim of always prioritizing active and determined people to take advantage of such an opportunity to start building their future.
As part of the seminar, participants – starting with the basics, such as hygiene and safety rules applied in a kitchen – were able to learn how to cook Greek and Mediterranean specialities. Thus, apprentice cooks were trained in simpler recipes, such as those for sauces, pulses and soups, but also in more complex ones, such as those containing different types of meat and seafood.
Therefore, people from Afghanistan, Cameroon, Albania, Nigeria, Syria and many other countries and cultures succeeded to get initiated to the secrets of a variety of Greek gastronomic creations, most notably pastitsio, zucchini-balls and meatballs with tomato sauce!
The seminar was accompanied by group laboratories organized by the job counsellor. Thus, two group meetings were held: the first with the aim of preparing participants for a job interview; the latter with the aim of developing “soft skills” to improve the presence and performance of these individuals in a work environment.
Finally, a meeting with a representative of “Workathlon” was organized, a recruiting company active mainly in the hospitality and tourism industry. During this meeting, each of the participants had an individual session with the expert of the company, creating his/her own profile on the recruitment platform and posting the details that would make him/her a desirable candidate for a potential employer.
At the beginning of December, the seminar cycle came to an end. On December 6th the participants graduated from this vocational seminar, while two of them had already started working! As Caritas Hellas we are very proud of all these people and the effort they have made to participate while experiencing a difficult day-to-day life, and we hope in the days to come to receive only good news about the career path of these people!
The vocational training is part of the Program “Social and Economic Integration of Refugees and Immigrants in Athens” which focuses on the support and integration of refugees and immigrants into Greek society. The Program is implemented by Caritas Hellas and funded by Caritas Switzerland.