After Mohamad came to the UK from Syria through Birmingham City Council’s SVPRS programme, he had the opportunity to work with ACH. We supported Mohamad through our employment and careers service, and with our fantastic Employment Coach Lina’s assistance he applied for various positions. He was accepted for a volunteering post with Refugee Action in Birmingham, for which Lina provided references.
Then, in August 2021 ACH partnered with The Refugee Council in London to provide referrals in the West Midlands region for applicants to their new programme with IKEA. Mohamad was very keen to take part. He came to the first online sessions in the ACH Birmingham office and Lina and Helen (ACH's Employment and Engagement Officer) supported him to prepare for the end of course interview.
Throughout, Mohamad was an extremely committed participant and very motivated! He prepared and revised really thoroughly for his interview by doing research and practising questions and answers with the team. His hard work paid off and along with some other candidates Mohamad was offered a paid 8-week work placement for 20 hours a week with IKEA at their Birmingham store.
During this placement, Mohamad moved around various departments, working in the warehouse, order desk and customer service. At the end of the placement, he was delighted to be offered a permanent contract with IKEA. He is really enjoying being part of the IKEA family. He says that his manager Dave is very supportive and really pleased with him. The impact the training has had on him has been very positive. He says that his English has improved, his self-confidence has increased, he is learning new things and his family is happy.
Farzana Begum at the Refugee Council said:
‘Mohamad’s story is a perfect example of how opportunities like the Refugee Council - IKEA programme and connections with community based organisations like ACH, empower refugees with the confidence to drive positive change in their lives'
We're proud to work with organisations like the Refugee Council and Refugee Action to make a real difference to the lives of newly arrived refugees. And we're so proud of Mohamad's achievement as he builds a build a better, brighter future in the UK.