After eight years struggling to find work, Afghan refugee Hayatullah is now able to provide for his family. He fled his war-torn country in 2015 to begin a new life in England but, without speaking strong English, gaining a job was very hard. With help from the Restart Scheme and his new employer, he’s found quality work and is now on track to a better life.
“It was very difficult in Afghanistan,” recalled Hayatullah, now 28. “There was poverty and war everywhere and it was really hard to survive. There were no jobs and no real chance of doing well in life.”
He left Afghanistan and travelled through different countries by sea and air, working where he could. When he arrived in England, he was granted asylum and supported with accommodation but couldn’t find work.
“I had nobody here to help or support me and didn’t understand the language,” he said.
“I tried really hard to find a job and was willing to work hard but nobody wanted to give me a chance.”
His break came when Jobcentre Plus referred him to the Restart Scheme, a government programme delivered by Ingeus which supports unemployed people into work. Commissioned by the Department for Work and Pensions, Ingeus delivers the Restart Scheme in the West Central region on behalf of Serco. Ingeus is also the prime provider of the Restart Scheme in Greater Manchester and Central and West London.
Hayatullah was relieved to discover he could communicate with his Restart Advisor Ali, as they both speak Urdu.
“Ingeus has been very helpful throughout my time with them,” said Hayatullah. “They put a CV together for me, filled in applications and ultimately helped me get into work.”
Hayatullah’s new job is testament to Ingeus’s strong partnership with the OCS Group, one of the world’s leading international facilities service providers. Keen to uphold its inclusive recruitment policies, OCS supports regular recruitment events at Ingeus’s Birmingham office. Sharing information on its vacancies and accessible recruitment practices, it has employed 15 Restart Scheme participants to date for one of its local client contracts.
“For a lot of our participants, interviews can be very daunting, especially if English is not their first language and they haven’t worked for a long time,” says Ali. “Yet every single participant leaves the OCS induction days with a smile on their face. Those that are offered work, like Hayatullah, are thrilled. The cleaning contract he now works on is flexible and perfectly suits his needs.”
Hayatullah’s new job involves cleaning spaces at a major entertainment venue in Solihull.
“I am really enjoying work – I like the busy environment and I get on really well with my colleagues,” he said. Now that he is earning a wage, he has been able to move out of supported accommodation and is living with his partner.
“Life is so much better now,” he said. “I am able to support my family and look after myself which is a big achievement for me.”
He is also relieved that Ingeus continues to support him – he speaks to his Advisor Ali regularly: “Ingeus continues to help me even now that I am in work. If I receive an email or letter that I am unsure of I can always ask them. I am very grateful for all that Ingeus has done for me.”