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Where to easily find jobs overseas after Culinary School (for people without EU)

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I am trying to find out the best places (particularly in Europe) where chefs go to find jobs internationally. 

 

I am non-EU, but I am a NZ citizen so I am placed well to at least go over and find jobs/do interviews.

 

I do have a small criminal record (from a sillier time), so the USA doesn't quite work for me - but the consulates in a number of European countries said that the record shouldn't matter.

 

Sweden has been identified as having a labour shortage in chefs, so this is one option. Any other suggestions are greatly welcomed! Feel free to post your experiences.

 

Note: When I finish Culinary School I will also have concurrently had 2-3 years working in a kitchen which has been recognized as a top 10 cheap eat in our NZ food magazine. So I won't be going with 'no' experience but I will be disadvantaged in comparison to experienced chefs.

 

Language won't be an issue: Let's just assume that anyone willing to take this step are expected to learn the local language ;). I am currently learning Swedish because my sights are set on Sweden.

 

Other countries I am considering: Spain, Italy, Denmark, Austria, Germany


Edited by Michael Potts - 6/1/16 at 10:55pm
post #2 of 12
Chef shortage is Sweden is an understatement. Problem is the work for many can be short term seasonal. But if you're looking in sweden then get in touch as i am right near gothenberg.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for your reply.

 

Sweden is definitely my #1 on the list (particularly because they don't seem to mind old criminal convictions as long as it's not murder) followed closely by Denmark and Spain for the same reason. It is very promising to know that there are people I can contact over there. Still a ways to go before completion of culinary school, but I will contact you when I'm done. Even if you aren't there at the time you might have some people you know :).

 

So is it safe to say that getting work in Sweden as a chef won't be difficult? Seasonal is fine assuming I can continue to get work afterwards.

post #4 of 12
It is safe to say you can find work here. The biggest hurdles you will find here is the cost of living vs wages, wages are not wonderful here for younger cooks, and a place to live. There is, and will continue to be a serious shortage of housing anywhere near the cities, which has driven up the prices of renting and purchasing an apartment to obnoxious levels. Finding a rental for a first hand contract can take years. It is very important for you to have arrangements for accommodation made before you get here. Also, with the recent surge of refugee immigration the office of immigration is quite backlogged so you will want to allow an extremely long window for your visa process.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post

It is safe to say you can find work here. The biggest hurdles you will find here is the cost of living vs wages, wages are not wonderful here for younger cooks, and a place to live. There is, and will continue to be a serious shortage of housing anywhere near the cities, which has driven up the prices of renting and purchasing an apartment to obnoxious levels. Finding a rental for a first hand contract can take years. It is very important for you to have arrangements for accommodation made before you get here. Also, with the recent surge of refugee immigration the office of immigration is quite backlogged so you will want to allow an extremely long window for your visa process.

That's good to know. So do people who are just starting out tend to go for something more in the vein of couch surfing or living within bus/train distance of the cities?

 

And I assume this is the work visa process you are referring to? How does that work? Since if you get a job offer, I guess they would need to be willing to wait until your visa is processed until you can work for them. The dynamics seem confusing! 

post #6 of 12
"The dynamics seem confusing! "

That made me chuckle 😆 Welcome to
Sweden.

The rental apartments here are controlled by a que system that averages about 10 years and much longer in the most popular areas in the cities. There is a big market in subletting that is very competitive and expensive and most of it is short term, few months at best. Apartment sharing/ roommates, when you can find them as well. Some people let out rooms in their apartments but that tends to be in the more unpopular sections of the cities.

As far as couch surfing, Swedes aren't the most open people to house guests. You know the old saying, fresh fish and house guest are the same, after a couple days they both stink. Swedes live by that.

With the visa process issues, in the last year Sweden took in 180000 undocumented refugees and is currently working on processing the asylum applications of them, as well as housing and feeding them so the system is stressed to put it mildly.
As an example of the waiting times, I have an employee who is from Egypt but a permanent resident of Sweden, he applied for his wife and child to move here last September and he is told the process won't even be addressed until spring 2017 as they aren't refugees and that refugee applications are prioritized.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post

"The dynamics seem confusing! "

That made me chuckle 😆 Welcome to
Sweden.

The rental apartments here are controlled by a que system that averages about 10 years and much longer in the most popular areas in the cities. There is a big market in subletting that is very competitive and expensive and most of it is short term, few months at best. Apartment sharing/ roommates, when you can find them as well. Some people let out rooms in their apartments but that tends to be in the more unpopular sections of the cities.

As far as couch surfing, Swedes aren't the most open people to house guests. You know the old saying, fresh fish and house guest are the same, after a couple days they both stink. Swedes live by that.

With the visa process issues, in the last year Sweden took in 180000 undocumented refugees and is currently working on processing the asylum applications of them, as well as housing and feeding them so the system is stressed to put it mildly.
As an example of the waiting times, I have an employee who is from Egypt but a permanent resident of Sweden, he applied for his wife and child to move here last September and he is told the process won't even be addressed until spring 2017 as they aren't refugees and that refugee applications are prioritized.

 

 

Ouch!!!

That sounds extreme. Mind you, I won't be looking at coming over for a couple of years at least.

 

I have heard that labour-shortage jobs are popped up the list a little bit, is that true? Since cheffing is a labour shortage job I would wonder if they have the same issue as this man's wife. I also heard that Sweden is cracking down on refugees because some of them are committing crime.

 

The dynamics still seem a bit difficult... i.e. I assume one needs a job BEFORE applying for a work visa. But once you have been offered the job, I assume you cannot work in it until the visa has been processed - so do you know how people are meant to go through this process now? I can't imagine that work places would just be ok with someone taking 2 years before working for them - unless you can temporarily work there while you are waiting on the visa.

 

So generally the way to go about this is to get in with roommates? 

post #8 of 12
The flow of refugees has abated since the introduction of boarder controls and it should be a bit more inhand in a couple years.
Yes I do think labor shortage jobs are processed a bit quicker, but, and I have no personal experience to speak of, I would think that that kind of priority would more apply to an engineer for Volvo or SKF and company ceo's than to cooks.
Also family reunionification is a priority to everything but undocumented refugees here in Sweden.

Not trying to discourage you but giving you a first hand view. I would go as far as to suggest you take a bit of a summer vacation here for a couple months, stay at some youth hostels and nose around the job market. You can probly pick up some day work for cash and establish some contacts.

One big plus to working in Sweden is that English is a very common work language in the restaurant and other industries.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagom View Post

The flow of refugees has abated since the introduction of boarder controls and it should be a bit more inhand in a couple years.
Yes I do think labor shortage jobs are processed a bit quicker, but, and I have no personal experience to speak of, I would think that that kind of priority would more apply to an engineer for Volvo or SKF and company ceo's than to cooks.
Also family reunionification is a priority to everything but undocumented refugees here in Sweden.

Not trying to discourage you but giving you a first hand view. I would go as far as to suggest you take a bit of a summer vacation here for a couple months, stay at some youth hostels and nose around the job market. You can probly pick up some day work for cash and establish some contacts.

One big plus to working in Sweden is that English is a very common work language in the restaurant and other industries.

Thank you for that.

 

I have just realized that a 'work permit' is different than a visa, so it might actually be a lot quicker. Perhaps you know some non-EU chefs who have gone through this process that wouldn't mind talking to me at some point? Only if you are ok with that :).

 

I'm not really discouraged, I just really want to live and work over there, and unfortunately with my small (but still it's there) record, the countries that are open to me would be narrower. 

 

Actually I will likely be doing the youth mobility scheme for a year when I finish my training. That's 12 months in Sweden, so I will probably be able to get a good idea of how it works during that time. 

post #10 of 12
The youth mobility thing you mentioned seems to be a good way to get all the paper work you need. Plus it probly has some typt of housing plan, which as I mentioned before is a big challenge here.

You are more than welcome to keep in contact with me with any questions you may have. I can be reached here or pm me for more direct means of contact.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for all your help. You've given this confused soul something to work towards :). 

 

I will definitely keep in touch :)

post #12 of 12

can someone explain why northern europe is so attractive to chefs nowadays?

 

i have worked there previously in marketing jobs...and didnt see much enthusiasm for culinary fields there...this is like 5 years ago

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