Siraje's Employment Success Story

Siraje came to UK as part of a resettlement scheme from Ethiopia. Initially he was referred to the SHG employment team in 2018 to look for a work placement.

His employment coach worked closely to understand his background and his immediate and long-term goals. In Ethiopia Siraje had been working towards a maths degree however, he was looking to understand fully his options and see whether he should continue his studies or use his transferrable skills to progress into another sector.

Siraje had a passion to pursue a career in nursing. He was confident with his spoken English but was looking to improve his writing and his employment coach encouraged him to undertake an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course and took him to take an assessment. Siraje was keen to achieve a degree, primarily he decided to continue his maths degree. However, at this time Siraje was following his passion and was working part-time as a doctor's receptionist. At this time, his employment coach mentored Siraje to look at a career change and pivot towards his passion and change his degree to nursing.

With this big decision made he was sponsored by SHG to take IELTS (International English Language Testing System). This was the start of the journey for Siraje. As an SHG tenant Siraje was able to access our sponsorship scheme which extended to sponsoring Siraje not only to complete the IELTS but to translate the qualifications he had already achieved in Ethiopia.

Fully committed now to his change in career path Siraje was determined to complete a nursing degree with MMU. Unfortunately, it was not all plain sailing for Siraje and his employment coach mentored him through the disappointment of not achieving level 7 in English which would allow him to start the course. The employment coach supported Siraje to apply for GCSE English to still achieve his overall goal. His employment coach advised that Siraje also complete the Access to Nursing qualification at the local college – however, he was unable to complete this course due to the English qualification. This period required careful negotiations by the employment coach to support Siraje to navigate the complexities of the requirements he needed to meet his goals. The college disappointed Siraje further as he was not able to complete Access to Nursing until he had a GCSE in English or an IELTS level 7.

A customer working as a nurse

Siraje demonstrated tenacity in achieving his overall goal as it took nearly a year to complete the GCSE English. There had been a lot of learning over this time and his employment coach guided him to take manageable steps. The concern was that the step up to a degree at that point might have been overwhelming. It was at this stage the option to complete Access to Nursing returned and this was deemed the best way forward.

During the year Siraje was doing his Access to Nursing course he was regularly volunteering at Stepping Hill hospital and Siraje was supported to continue to monitor his English level via assessments to check the viability of his plans. His overall plan and opportunities were monitored regularly by his coach and all placements were arranged by the SHG team to support the overall goal and personal development plan that had been agreed.

His coach supported him every step of the way matching the commitment of Siraje as he worked part time as a medical receptionist and completed his studies and volunteering. His employment coach contacted the universities to identify the right option and he was supported by the college to make the application.

Siraje is close to completing his first year in nursing at MMU. He thoroughly enjoys the course and is proud of the work he is doing and the dedication it has taken to get this far on his journey. He is currently doing a placement on the renal unit as part of his studies, and he is delighted that he followed his dream of nursing. Siraje recently received recognition for his contributions to the wellbeing of the local communities in his role as a health visitor. The journey has been 4 years since his decision to pivot to nursing and every step has been valuable.