Teklehaymanot arrived in the UK in 2014 from Eritrea. In Eritrea Teklehaymanot had owned a pharmacy business but left to join his wife, a UK citizen. When Teklehaymanot moved the UK he was unemployed, and had to rely on his wife’s income. This was a difficult time as Teklehaymanot’s wife only worked part time in a low paid role.
A friend of Teklehaymanot’s wife recommended the National Careers Service at the Bromley By Bow Centre, as it helped her in the past to find work. Desperate to get support to get into employment Teklehaymanot visited the centre and was introduced to a Prospects National Careers Adviser, Shaifur, who spoke to him about employment options.
What Prospects did
During the first session with Shaifur, Teklehaymanot spoke about his previous work and the technical and transferrable skills gained from this experience. Shaifur was very supportive and together they looked at the options. Because of Teklehaymanot’s experience as a pharmacist and health care assistant in Eritrea Shaifur took time to show him job profiles for pharmacy roles. These highlighted what was required to become a pharmacy assistant in the UK and what courses Teklehaymanot would need to complete.
Together Teklehaymanot and Shaifur completed an Action Plan. This helped Teklehaymanot, as developing the plan made it clear what Teklehaymanot had to achieve. Shaifur’s knowledge of the labour market enabled him to give Teklehaymanot information about the current job market if he retrained as a pharmacy assistant.
One of the actions on the plan was to develop a CV; Shaifur gave Teklehaymanot a template to complete and to bring to the second session. Using this draft Shaifur helped Teklehaymanot to develop the CV, ensuring all his previous skills and experiences were clearly highlighted. Teklehaymanot was really proud of his new CV and Shaifur told him about a pharmacy assistant job that he could apply for with a local pharmacy.
Shaifur helped Teklehaymanot to develop a covering letter. Before meeting his Prospects National Careers Service adviser Teklehaymanot had no idea what a cover letter was, so they wrote it together so it could be adapted for other job applications.
Shortly after Teklehaymanot was pleased to be invited for an interview. Unfortunately the interview did not go as well as expected and Teklehaymanot was rejected for the role due to the lack of relevant experience in an UK based pharmacy. Keen to find work Teklehaymanot contacted Shaifur regularly and continued to apply for roles.
Unable to successfully find work Shaifur explained that Teklehaymanot’s language skills and lack of UK work experience could be a barrier to gaining a role within a pharmacy. To address these barriers Shaifur found an ESOL course to help Teklehaymanot overcome his language barrier.
After gaining the necessary ESOL skills needed for employment Teklehaymanot returned to Shaifur, enquiring about relevant jobs. Shaifur advised him to look at his skills and experience and to apply for different roles. Teklehaymanot’s experience as a health care assistant was similar to roles in the care industry, including care assistant.
Together they found a vacancy where Teklehaymanot could use his transferable skills from his previous role to apply for a position. Shaifur supported Teklehaymanot showing him how to fill in the application form, use his personal statement and practise interview skills and questions including the STAR technique.
Outcomes and results
The National Careers Service helped Teklehaymanot to find an eligible ESOL class, enabling him to improve his skills ensuring he was successful at the interview and gained the role as a care assistant.
Teklehaymanot believes if he had not contacted the National Careers Service at the Bromley By Bow Centre he would not have any understanding of how to apply for work or know about what options were available to him.
He says: “I would probably be working in a role that paid minimum wage with no career prospects. I have better outlook on life and I am now doing a job as a care assistant, I am enjoying working in this role. The National Careers Service helped me to find work and plan clearly. Without contacting the service I would not have a clear idea for my career aim.
“The best thing about it was that I had access to an adviser and he was supportive throughout my time looking for work. I could, and still can, contact him whenever I need and he always takes his time to see me. He helped me to apply for jobs and even when I was not successful he did not give up on me and persevered to help me.”
Before contacting the National Careers Service Teklehaymanot was unemployed, stressed and felt like a burden to his family, who were supporting me financially. He says: “Gaining employment has put a smile back on my face and I feel so much happier. My language skills have also improved and I feel confident when speaking to others and I can communicate with others.
“It is still my ultimate goal is to work as a pharmacist. I now understand how to achieve this goal and by working in my current role I can seek voluntary work, save money to complete the relevant courses and go on to qualify as a pharmacist.”