We interview Milena Chimenton, owner of the Autofficina Da Berto in Monticello Conte Otto, a small but productive family business near Vicenza, operative since 1978.
• What does your company do? What are the services in which you excel?
Our company deals with the repair of private and commercial motor vehicles, it is also a center for inspections of cars (even hybrid) and mopeds, as well as a Renault authorized workshop. We own also another car repair shop in Vicenza, Mac Service SRLs, where we carry out, among other things, repairs and maintenance on motorhomes.
Our strength is certainly punctuality: leaving the customer “on foot” as little as possible is our priority. Then we stand out in electronic repairs: it often happens that colleagues from other repair shops require our help in the most complex cases.
• How long have you been welcoming trainees? In which areas? From which country have you welcomed so far? What are the tasks assigned to them? What can a trainee learn from you?
We have been welcoming trainees for 6 years as car repair technicians. So far we have had Spaniards and Germans.
At the beginning, the trainees work alongside one of our employees so that they can see how we work and at the same time we can understand their knowledge. If the trainee proves commitment and desire to learn, he is increasingly given the opportunity to work independently, always under the supervision of a more experienced colleague. A willing and motivated trainee can have here a 360° preparation in all areas of action, as indeed happened with the last one we had this year. He was able to do a car inspection by himself, to write the Italian repair order and finally to store the waste too. This is certainly a great success for us as a company and for the professional training of the trainee.
• How do you organize the placement and the “follow-up” of the trainee? How do the company’s employees react to the trainee?
As I said before there is always an initial coaching that can last more or less, depending on the ability and commitment of the trainee. The shift is always split (morning and afternoon), as we close for the lunch break and the trainee respects the standard hours of the company. Usually in the morning we do the work plan and then we start with the urgencies: the trainee takes part since this phase and thus has the opportunity to attend the entire production process.
There is therefore a constant contact between the trainee and the company employees, who have always reacted very well to these new presences, demonstrating openness and willingness to exchange. Surely the age helps because the trainees are not much younger than the employees and so it happened several times that they had also meet up outside the working environment.
• How do you get on with trainees from Europe?
The European trainees that we host are a great source of enrichment because they allow us to get in touch with different cultures and, for what concerns the strictly professional sphere, with different working processes. From what we have been able to notice the preparation is overall good and therefore it can be a great advantage for us to temporarily host them in our company.
• Tell us something funny that happened to you!
We had a more than positive experience with our last German trainee. He immediately proved to be mature and diligent and we established such a good relationship that we proposed him to stay and work with us. Now he’s back to Germany for the summer, but we’re hopefully waiting for him in the fall, fingers crossed
Interviewer: Federica Perazzolo