Welcome to Work Provides a Fresh Start for Refugee
23-year-old Suleiman had to flee his home land of Syria because of civil war. He was welcomed to Ireland in January 2018 as part of the Ireland refugee resettlement programme.
He had been attending the local library when an Adviser approached him about the Welcome to Work programme.
Welcome to Work is a 13-week programme that aims to increase employment opportunities for legally resident migrants who are struggling to find work in Castlebar, Galway and Monaghan in Ireland.
Participants receive mentoring and support to help them move into work or further education. They will improve their spoken English, gain confidence, make new friends, improve their computer skills, learn how to create a winning CV and prepare for interviews, as well as enjoy a cultural away day to learn about Irish culture and history.
Speaking about his first experience of Ireland, Suleiman said “I thought it was a great encounter and believe that I will be part of this great nation”. Although, Suleiman is pleased to be in Ireland he was struggling to learn English and found it difficult to meet new people and integrate into the local community.
On learning about the opportunities, the programme offers Suleiman enrolled at the Monaghan centre run by Network Personnel in partnership with Seetec.
“I have worked as a waiter and have secondary education, but I needed to develop my CV and job interview skills” said Suleiman. “Over the 13-week course, I was given support with writing a CV, practising interview techniques, improving my digital skills, speaking conversational English, learning about Irish culture, cookery and music and met some lovely people”.
With the support of the Network Personnel team, Suleiman has been able to secure a job in hospitality in a local hotel. They helped him to prepare for the interview, buy the uniform and arranged for travel assistance to and from the interview.
Happy about his new job and life in Ireland, Suleiman commented “Life has definitely improved, and the Irish people are very open minded. I have learnt a lot about the Irish culture”.
Photo: Suleiman learning to play the Irish fiddle as part of the cultural understanding through the Welcome to Work programme