Celebrating the Syrian Vulnerable Person's Resettlement Scheme

Since the launch of the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme in October 2019, we’ve been helping newly arrived people on the scheme develop their skills for employment.

Two years on, we’ve been celebrating their successful steps towards employment and integration to build sustainable futures in the UK.

Keep reading to discover more about the project, our celebration and hear from our wonderful Employment Advisor Lina, who told us all about her inspirational story.

'All in all, determination and hard work is the key to find a window of opportunity and hope when life closes a door.’ - Lina

The Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme is a five year scheme led by Birmingham City council, aiming to resettle refugees from Syria, and help them to re-establish their lives in the city.

The scheme helps people to find employment alongside providing additional support for accommodation, education, orientation, language lessons and accessing health services.

Our training team in Birmingham have been working with 109 people to assess their needs and develop the right employment and integration plan for an individual.

The project has been so valuable, it is being continued by Birmingham Council for another year. We’re grateful and excited to have the opportunity to continue supporting the Syrian community in Birmingham into the future.

How did we celebrate?

Our event in Birmingham celebrated the success of the Syrian community in Birmingham over the past two years, as we took the opportunity to finally celebrate with our learners in person.

Humza, our Employment and Careers Manager in Birmingham had this to say about the event:

‘The event for the Syrian Project was a great success. It celebrated the success and integration of the Syrian community in Birmingham. It was fantastic to have community members from the Syrian refugee community in attendance, alongside Fuad Mahamed (ACH CEO), members of Himilo training and Natasha Bhandal from Birmingham City Council.

We celebrated the Syrian community through Syrian food, desserts from local providers, testimonials from fellow community members, activities with their children and a great time socialising.’

Why is the project so important?

At ACH, we know first hand how important schemes like these are for the success of newly arrived communities through our lived experience knowledge of integration best practice.

Our lived experience knowledges come from our wonderful staff, who have first hand experience of helping people to integrate and thrive in the UK, as well as many of our staff themselves come from refugee backgrounds, offering a unique perspective.

Lina, our Employment Coach gave an incredible talk for our learners, all about her own inspiring journey to success in the UK:

‘Originally, I'm from Syria, I came to the UK six years ago.

My journey was a very difficult one, just to give you an idea, I went to ten different countries to get to the UK, including by a small inflatable boat, truck, train, plane and walking for miles. I ended up in a camp in France before arriving in Sweden then the UK. After that, I became an asylum seeker for almost two years, so I worked (volunteering) as an Arabic teacher and teacher assistant for ESOL. Then, I got my work permission. I was fortunate to receive support from ACH Birmingham over the past four years through ACH, I was enrolled on to the Starbucks course, where I took full advantage of the training I was offered.

In fact, it was a great experience that I did the course, and Helen gave me a lot of advice and help for my interview. It was the first time I went to an interview in England. It was through this course that I was able to impress in my interview and offered a permanent job with Starbucks, I worked there for one and a half year. Following that, Helen asked me to join ACH team, I was extremely delightful. Fortunately, I was successful and now I have a job with ACH,  I've been working at ACH for almost two, years and I've been enjoying my time with them because they are helpful and kind. Furthermore, through this job I have boosted my English language, communication skills, gains new  experiences, and made friends.

I've attended University in Syria and hold the equivalent of a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature. In England, I have got  BTEC Level 3 in Education and Training at Solihull college,  I have done a talk English course at Fircraft college and IAG Information Advice and Guidance. Moreover, I'm planning to do CELTA level 6 this year to boost my CV even further.

In my spare time, I teach English, learn French, and read books about nutrition.

All in all, determination and hard work is the key to find a window of opportunity and hope when life closes a door.’

The future

We’re thrilled to be able to continue working with learners on the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, working to make a real difference to people’s lives.

Lina, Humza and the rest of our staff at ACH Birmingham are excited to carry on supporting people in the Syrian community in Birmingham into employment that is meaningful and helps individuals to reach their aspirations.

For more information about the project, click here.

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