Serving up delicious meals at Little India in Wellington is something Shrinand feels confident about. He has 20 years of cooking experience, but lacked the skills to speak English to waiting staff and delivery people.
In India, Shrinand worked for a four-star hotel, heading up a staff of eight in a specialist curry department. He very much enjoys the variety of work in New Zealand, where chefs do everything from chopping to cooking.
Shrinand speaks mainly Hindi to the cooking staff, so learning English outside of work has been an integral part of developing his career.
Shrinand works six days a week and came along to the English for Employees course on his one day off. Even so, he never missed a session. “My English is better than before,” says Shrinand. “My vocabulary is much wider now, and I am not so nervous to speak to people.”
It’s a long way from the north of India to the North Island of New Zealand. His family are still in India and he has managed to go back three or four times in the eight years he’s been here. It sometimes means returning to the middle of a New Zealand winter, but he likes the culture here.
“The money is good. And it is clean, and friendly.”
The content of his English for Employees course was tailored for people working in restaurants, which made learning together relevant and fun. Completing the course has given him a newfound confidence. And yes, he has already recommended it to his colleagues.
“Of course! It is good for other people to do too.”