Project: ELEVATE

Ali successfully interviewed for a role in our water saving advice team by participating in our Elevate programme, which supports refugees to find sustainable employment in London.

Qualified in Computer Science in his home country Iran, Ali struggled to find a role related to his degree and worked as a security guard for four years when he first arrived in the UK.  He expressed his frustration at the lack of employment opportunities he was met with:

“I wish employers would offer more internships and apprenticeships that can support us into careers, even for those older than 25. We just need more opportunities to express our ability. Some people offer work experience that has no benefit- you spend three months cleaning in a grocery store for free as ‘work experience’ and then never hear anything.”

Determined to find a suitable role, Ali joined the Elevate programme and found it very supportive. He was offered tailored job-matching and application advice and most importantly genuine commitment by his Elevate employment advisor:

“I had found it a challenge to find companies and organisations that could meet my needs well. I think there is room for improvement across the sector.  Irina (the employment advisor) is someone I can trust; she is always so supportive and reliable. The thing that makes Irina different is she shows empathy. I have always admired her and will keep in contact with her.”

As a result, Ali has now been employed for three months and as a self-confessed ‘workaholic’ enjoys the busy customer facing role. Travelling across all boroughs of London, Ali is helping households every day to save water and also reduce their bills. Given London is an area of ‘Severe Water Stress’, Ali’s work is incredibly important creating a positive impact both for the environment and the economy.

It is wonderful every time a client finds work through Elevate, but it is particularly special when they find it within the Groundwork team taking on the mission to change more lives and make better places.

Elevate is funded by BBO. Building Better Opportunities brings together funding from the National Lottery Community Fund (TNLF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) to help tackle poverty and promote social inclusion across England.