County Voice

County Voice: September 2022

Refugee secures job with local food business

‘Mr H’ arrived in the UK in August 2021 after having to leave his country of origin due to civil unrest. He and his family settled in Denbighshire in December 2021. Mr H had experience in the retail sector and had previously run his own business as a clothing retailer.

Mr H was referred to Working Denbighshire by his support worker in December 2021. Mr H said he was keen to work but there were several challenges he was facing, these included:

  • He had had the right to work, but had not received official proof of this from the home office in order to satisfy a new employer.  
  • He was not aware of the process for finding work including CV’s job applications and interview techniques.
  • He still had limited English which wouldn’t have been at the standard expected within a customer service role.
  • He had limited understanding of the requirements of a UK workplace including cultural norms.
  • He was the only English speaker in his family and was therefore spending a lot of time supporting them to attend appointments and therefore didn’t feel he could work full time hours at this point.

Mr H began attending ESOL classes two days per week to increase his knowledge, and was supported through a process of understanding the fundamentals of job searching including creating a CV, exploring recruitment websites and helping with job searches.

Mr H was successful in getting interviews in local shops, however he was unsuccessful at interview in part due to his English skills and level of understanding in relation to social norms.  

In May 2022, his working Denbighshire Employment Mentor heard about a local food business who was really struggling to get enough staff and explained to Mr H that even though preparing food was not his initial goal, it would allow him to practice his English, gain experience in the workplace and had opportunities to move into customer service roles in the future.

Mr H worked with his Employment Mentor, attending 1:1 mock interview sessions. They worked on how to identify words and phrases that an employer would be keen to hear from any interviewee as well as identifying key skills that he could emphasis at interview. Mr H put a lot of effort into this and after making the application to the local food business, was successful at interview the following week.

Since then:

  • Mr H has secured a contract for 16 hours per week at a local food business, and began his employment on the 16 June 2022;
  • Mr H said he feels really good about being employed and the people he works for are nice and friendly and he's happy to be working there;
  • The Working Denbighshire Employment Mentor has offered ongoing support to both Mr H and his employer to ensure he settles into the new role;
  • Mr H has increased his family income and is still able to attend college to improve his English language skills.

 You can find out more about Working Denbighshire on our website.


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