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Job support for new arrivals into the UK

Job support for new arrivals into the UK

A community organisation in Sheffield is helping new arrivals into the UK fulfil their potential thanks to a new employment and training project.

Funded by Newground Together – the charitable arm of Together Housing Group – and delivered by Darnall Forum, the project helps new arrivals into the UK  tackle barriers to work. In addition to help with CVs, online job applications and interview techniques, the project offers one-to-one support to help overcome obstacles such as not speaking English or qualifications not being internationally recognised.

Peter Jordan, Director of Newground Together, said: “We want everybody who comes to Sheffield to feel welcome and valued and we want to help them reach their full potential. Navigating and accessing a job market that is unfamiliar can be a daunting task but this project equips new arrivals with the skills and confidence to do just that. By making full use of their talents and abilities, we are empowering them to take part in and contribute to society.”

The project has a dedicated Learning Champion Nazia Fazil, who can speak Urdu and Mirpuri dialect. In addition to in-house English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, Nazia also signposts clients to other organisations who run relevant clubs and courses such as Conversation Club at Darnall Wellbeing, B1 and citizenship courses at Learn for Life.

Neil Bishop, Manager at Darnall Forum, said: “We were already working with Cohesion Sheffield to deliver a government initiative designed to encourage the integration of new arrivals in diverse neighbourhoods. But this focuses on social integration, such as promoting citizenship and shared community initiatives. We wanted to expand what we were doing to foster economic integration by supporting new arrivals into employment.

“Thanks to ongoing support from Newground Together, we have already supported 15 local residents into paid employment and vocational training in the last year. Due to the increase in new arrivals to the UK enrolling on our ESOL courses, we recognised there was a demand to specifically target new arrivals into the UK.”

Originally from Syria, Rima Alkhayat, a trustee of Darnall Forum and a Together Housing tenant, knows all too well the challenges facing new arrivals into the UK.

She said: “There are different barriers depending on the reason they have come to the UK for example if they have come as a refugee or to study. For many new arrivals, English isn’t their first language and often they do not speak it at all. Others are graduates or professionals in their home country but their qualifications aren’t valid here so they need to take conversion courses, which can be expensive. The project can help them find entry-level work to fund courses and to build up a UK job history for their CVs.”

A single mum from Pakistan has secured a job as a beauty consultant thanks to the help she received.

She said: “I come from a beauty background but I didn’t have any work experience in the UK. Nazia helped me write a CV and apply for jobs online. I got an interview with Boots for the Fenty Beauty counter but was unsuccessful due to my lack of sales experience. However, the managers were impressed with my bubbly personality so I got called back for a second interview, this time for the No7 counter. Nazia helped me with interview techniques and built up my confidence and I was offered the job.

“I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. It is the perfect job for me. I can support my son and I’m doing a job I love and meeting new people.”

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