Kim is from Iran and came to the UK as a refugee in 2015. She is 23 years old.
In Iran she was a student studying Psychology and had never had a job.
When she arrived in Glasgow she went to the Job Centre to register for Job Seekers Allowance. She was told to apply for jobs.
She didn’t know where to start though. She had no knowledge or experience of how to do this or how to apply for College. People spoke to her about skills and strengths but she had never heard of these things and didn’t believe she had any. She could speak English but had some difficulties and wanted to learn more. The Job Centre Job Coach suggested that she came to register with the West of Scotland Regional Equality Council’s employment project MEETS.
She came along, registered and was assigned an Employment Advisor. This was the start of her journey towards employment.
She started by taking part in some of MEETS employability training courses. She completed a course in CV Development as well as a course in Interview Preparation. She had never had a CV before so she had to learn what this was, why it was needed and how to write one. She found the training really helpful and then felt able to advise her friends in how to write their CV and encourage them to come and take part in training at MEETS. She learnt how to fill in job applications which she had never done before and found very difficult. She came to meet with her Employment Advisor regularly at the beginning. As she began to grow in confidence she would complete applications at home and then email them to her Employment Advisor with questions or for advice.
Initially she had very little to put on her CV. Her Employment Advisor helped her to build on this by finding courses for her to take. She started with ESOL classes to improve her English. Following this she was enrolled in a Prince’s Trust development course. In addition to employability training at MEETS she completed courses in Food Hygiene and Communication. She also did some volunteering in her community, assisting at the Maryhill Foodbank, a short work placement at the Job Centre and some interpreting at West of Scotland Regional Equality Council. Volunteering not only gave her more experience to add to her CV but it helped her to gain references.
MEETS career advice helped her to work out the route she wanted to take. She expressed a feeling that other services she accessed would listen to what she wanted to do but then suggest she applies for something completely different. She liked that MEETS always focused on what she wanted to do.
Early on in meetings with her Employment Advisor she expressed an interest in social care and working with people.
She applied for several jobs and managed to get her first interview. The interview was for a Community Job Scotland position. Unfortunately she was not successful. She didn’t feel that she was quite ready but felt it was great experience. Soon after this she secured her second interview. Her Employment Advisor helped her to prepare by practicing answering questions and researching the job. They also worked on her confidence and how to relax and not stress about the interview. Kim was successful at this interview and was offered a support worker job.
She expressed her gratitude that MEETS was always there for her. Whenever she emailed she had a fast response and was never waiting. She felt that whenever she called there was someone there to speak to her. This helped her to feel that she was not alone in a place where she didn’t know anybody. She felt that she wasn’t just being told what to do but she was building a relationship with her Employment Advisor and being supported.
She feels more confident after having received support from MEETS. She feels that she is now completing professional looking applications. She knows how to read job descriptions and work out what jobs are suitable for her. She feels positive about her future.