A career guided by ENSSURE training

January 2019

Ashok Pandey, 33, is a permanent resident of Madi Municipality-7, Chitwan. Just after completing his School Leaving Certificate exams in 2005, after he left for foreign employment driven by his financial needs. He had looked for jobs in the country but had found nothing suitable to meet the need of his big family of 10, whose only main resource was a small farmland.

He worked in Dubai for seven years, first as a Production Operator in Gulf Processing Food Company, and then as a Barista in Gloria Jean Cafe for two years. From what Ashok earned, he was able to save very little - about 700 to 800 Dirham a month. His salary then was about 2,000 Dirham (1 Dirham = 30 NPR), of which most were spent on personal needs including food and lodging. Ashok aspired a work that would pay him better. While working as a Barista, Ashok had come to know about the attractive salary enjoyed by Cooks. He even tried several times to get a job of a Cook, but his lack of related skills and knowledge got in the way.

When he returned to Nepal, Ashok spent six months just exploring job opportunities. One day, he came across an announcement for free training opportunity for Professional Training, being conducted in Bharatpur, Chitwan by Pathibhara Himalayan Polytechnic Institute, Itahari. This was nearly 10-month long training with OJT, which was supported by Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment (ENSSURE) project.  Only if he could get selected for this training, Ashok thought, his dreams of working in a good paying Cook job would not be too far. Encouraged by his dreams, he applied for the training. Well, he got shortlisted for the interview and was also selected for the training!  He completed the training successfully and did his On-the-Job training in Kasara Resort in Kasara, Chitwan.

Talking about his training experience, Ashok highlighted the importance of OJT, which not only equipped him with practical skills in cooking but also offered him the opportunity to deal with different human personalities, while exposing him to hotel management issues. When he finished his OJT, Jungle Island Resort, Bharatpur, Chitwan, offered him the job of Sous Chef (second in command in the kitchen) with a basic salary of NPR 20,000. Ashok says, “ENSSURE training was the turning point in my life. It opened my journey in the hospitality sector. I am currently very happy with my position, and I am constantly complemented by my seniors for my work.” Ashok further said, “The salary I make now is like what I used to save in Dubai, however now I have a career. I am very optimistic about my prospects and want to grow into Executive Chef in the next five years. I am grateful to Pathibhara and ENSSURE project for their support.”

The resort management is positive towards his performance and is planning to increase his salary. “Ashok’s overall performance is very impressive. We offered him the job seeing his excellent performance during the OJT. We are fully satisfied with his work,” Yubraj Neupane, the Manager of Jungle Island Resort shared.