CLIENTS at the CRMC are getting extra help to find jobs thanks to a new service provided by the charity.
About 15 refugees and migrants are using the service, a weekly class in which they use computers to improve their English and look for work.
The class – Improve Your English with IT – has been running for six weeks and has proved a hit. The clients are delighted that they are able to improve their language and computer skills at the same time, and hunt for vacancies.
Jan Malatesta, Work and Well-Being and Migrant Officer at the Centre, and Faruk Norat, Employment and Housing Adviser, organised the scheme. Jan explained: “We spotted a need as we were doing job searches with the clients. We wanted to make them more independent, but a lot of them either didn’t know how to use a computer or didn’t have access to one.”
Jan appealed for help to the Chief Executive of the City Council, Martin Reeves, who immediately donated 10 used but good computers. Jan said:
It was wonderful and I’d like to say a big thank-you to the council…but we need six more!
Thanks to the class, which is run with the help of volunteer Walter Milner, the students’ language skills are improving fast.
The new class builds on the free ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) classes offered by dedicated City of Sanctuary volunteers, and hosted at the CRMC offices.
It all means that people who just a few weeks ago had very little English, are now having conversations, said Jan. And thanks to the new class they are learning the basic tools needed for job-hunting – how to create a CV, how to use the internet to look for vacancies, even how to use Google maps to find their way to interviews.
And the Centre is helping the clients to build on their new skills with further courses like first aid, and health and safety in the workplace, all aimed at increasing their employability.
It’s all highly useful but also fun, said Jan, which is why so many people turn up every week. The latest group project is to use the internet to find and share recipes from the students’ native countries. They hope eventually to turn the collected recipes into a calendar. Sabir Zazai, CRMC Director, said:
Once again I have to pay tribute to our staff and our volunteers for their work which does so much to promote integration.
They are helping people build new lives for themselves, and at the same time to become part of the community.”
CAPTION: Jan and Faruk helping the class get to grips with the internet