Not obvious, undoubtedly predictable. Among the effects of Brexit, a phenomenon increasingly affecting the world of Italian catering in the UK is the absence of staff. Waiters, dishwashers, cooks and pizza chefs are now rare.
If before leaving the EU, many young people left in search of new experiences in Anglo-Saxon land, the criteria for the access of workers to the United Kingdom today are strict and challenging to meet: among the requirements, you’ll find a certain level of English language (B1), already having a job offer overseas and the guarantee of a salary above the minimum threshold established for the professional category to which they belong.
The Horeca is crying, and many places risk closing their doors (some only for lunch, others permanently), given the lack of new arrivals and European students willing to work in the sector.
From this need, OPEN – Organization of Neapolitan Pizza Makers Abroad was born, a training project conceived by Enzo Fiore and Saverio Mela, which also bears the signature of ITA0039.
Both restaurant owners – O’Curniciello in Lancing, G-Lite in Worthing and Bedda in Brighton – Enzo and Saverio have experienced firsthand the difficulty of finding Italian staff after Brexit and are also well aware of the adversities that affect the world of Made in Italy abroad. “Our intention is to teach young people to make Neapolitan pizza” they say to the microphones of ITA0039 during the OPEN inauguration event, “we want to bring our Italian products around the world, we want to introduce real cuisine and real Italian products also here in the UK“.
In collaboration with the Metropolitan Northbrook College of Worthing, with the support of Neapolitan pizza chefs and with the authorization of the Campania Region, the first school for pizza chefs in the United Kingdom is launched.
Students will have the opportunity to train and learn “the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker” Unesco Heritage, alternating theoretical and practical lessons, meetings with producers of flour, tomatoes and other raw materials. The program also includes visits to Italian production plants, for a complete knowledge of the most loved dish in the world and, above all, of how it is made.
But there’s more: ITA0039 will have its own training space within the project. Students will learn what certification consists of, the basic criteria established by the protocol and how to distinguish authentic products from counterfeit ones, for a new generation of pizza chefs attentive to the aspects of authenticity, tradition and healthiness that distinguish the Italian table.
“We are proud to take part in a project like this, which combines tradition, dissemination, protection and training. We hope that this is only the beginning of a proliferation of concrete activities in the field, or rather in the kitchen, so that even those who were not born in Italy can help spread our culture and our values at the table, choosing authentic and genuine products, from our country. I trust that one day it can extend to the whole of the United Kingdom and beyond the English borders.” The thought of Fabrizio Capaccioli, CEO of ASACERT and creator of the protocol.