Chris’s story

Chris SchotChris was 23 years old when he completed the Galvin’s Chance programme, passing his apprenticeship with Westminster Kingsway College, where he achieved a NVQ Level II in Food and Drink. In October 2011 Chris worked as a waiter with Galvin Bistrot de Luxe and has impressed his managers with his quick learning and excellent customer service. Chris has excelled in his new career and has recently opened Aqua in The Shard as Head Sommelier. He says:

“Galvin’s Chance was a great start for my career and I would like to thank everybody for all their help”.

Interview featured in the Daily Mirror 22nd December 2011:

Bartender Chris Schot is on a high. The buzz and excitement working in a busy bar and restaurant in central London keeps him on his toes and means he never has a chance to get bored.

“There’s so much to learn and I love chatting to people, serving up the drinks, and discovering about everything from cocktails to wine.”

Chris, 23, from Croydon has only been in the job six weeks, having been promoted from being a waiter for less than a month.

“I showed willing and was really keen to learn so I got the promotion. It’s great.”

His meteoric rise through the ranks is even more impressive when Chris explains that before this job he had been unemployed for more than a year with confidence at rock bottom. Luckily he heard about Galvin’s Chance Programme ( which, funded by Hilton in the Community Foundation, offers youngsters like Chris the chance to train for front of house jobs working in high end hotels and restaurants.

“I was really keen on the idea,”says Chris who since leaving school at 16 had tried his hand at a variety of jobs ranging from post room assistant, customer services for Abbey National, and work at Gatwick Airport.

To start with Chris was given two weeks of training from The Springboard Charity, who provide training and opportunities in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries, and 2 weeks unpaid work experience at Galvin Bistrot De Luxe as a Waiter.

“I knew from the very start that I would love the work. It is hard work but the whole industry is about taking care of people, providing a service, and doing it as well as possible. I love the responsibility that comes with that. It’s an added bonus that you never know what’s round the corner.”