The Campanile Hotel Birmingham, based in Aston, has welcomed two new Spanish recruits as the latest additions to the team, which already includes a range of nationalities.
Pablo Llorente and Gema Hornero, aged 30 and 29, have moved to Birmingham to improve their English so they can progress within the Campanile chain which is in 360 cities in 10 countries.
Both recruits have 10 years’ experience in the industry, as they both started out as waiters in the City of Santander in Spain.
They have also embarked on an English Language course at the Brasshouse Language Centre in Birmingham while working at the hotel.
The course offers an intensive 10-week programme, with regular assessments and tests.
Pablo said: “It’s fantastic speaking to staff and customers, we feel that our English is getting better by the day. It’s all about connecting with people, and adapting to the way of life here. “I started out training to be a chef in Santander and worked in the kitchens for two years with my boss, getting to grips with cooking in such a pressured environment.
“It’s very important to speak fluent English in the tourism industry. We come into contact with many people from across the globe so having English as a language is a huge benefit.
“The hospitality industry doesn’t consist of just waiting on a table, you have to liaise and interact with customers, making their experience as enjoyable as possible therefore if you can’t speak the language then there’s already a barrier put in place.
“We’re really excited about what’s in store for the next year here, learning, working and becoming part of the family at Campanile.”
Gema has 10 years’ previous experience as a waitress and this is her first visit to England. She said: “We both started out as waiters in our home town, but the summer months would bring in the English tourists, and we would find it difficult to really interact with customers as our English was poor.
“Since being here, we’ve found that every worker is different, has their own way of doing things so it’s all about adapting to the environment you’re working in.
“Everyone has been so willing to help us and we already feel like part of the team.”
Angel Resmella, general manager of Campanile Hotel Birmingham, arrived in the UK in August. He said that Birmingham was proving the ideal location to train international staff.
He said: “Educating and welcoming all nationalities to work at the hotel is the fundamental principle of our training programme and Birmingham is perfect because of its location and the range of international visitors.
“Campanile encourages staff to train abroad to widen their experience and to improve their range of skills.”
Pictured: Gema Hornero and Pablo Llorente with manager Angel Resmella (right).