Amir thought many times he might not be able to pursue his dream ambitions

29 Jul, 2019

But he never gave up on trying. He knew where he excelled and where he could make a difference. After 14 months of uncertainty, his perseverance paid off. 

Finding a job close to your dreams is not an easy thing in the highly competitive Australian market. With qualifications obtained overseas, no Australian experience and visa related challenges, finding a job, any job, can turn into a daunting experience. 

When Amir fled his home country with his wife and six children, he left behind a successful career and a comfortable life. With an MBA and 13 years of experience in senior sales, marketing and HR role across several countries, nothing could prepare him for the difficulty of looking for work as a person seeking asylum in Australia.

Things were off to a good start: shortly after the family’s arrival in Australia, Amir secured a sales and marketing manager role. However, when his contract ended he could not find another job in his field of expertise. 

In the meantime, Federal Government changes to eligibility for income support for people seeking asylum left him and his family with no income at all – and no support of any kind while he was looking for employment. Quickly, destitution and homelessness became very real threats for the whole family.

Determined to support his family, Amir took up casual labouring, a dangerous field for someone with no prior experience. 

This situation is something the Centre witnesses on a regular basis.   Government cuts to basic support for people seeking asylum mean people are more likely to face risky and exploitative work conditions. And when families are at risk of destitution, people will take any job. 

When Amir reached out to the Centre a couple of years ago, he needed urgent medical assistance.  He had suffered a work-related injury and was no longer able to do labouring. With no income, his family was experiencing financial hardship. 

ASC provided the family with emergency financial relief and weekly groceries through Foodbank. Amir asked to participate in ASC’s employment program. The Employment Service also worked with Nadia, Amir’s wife, who enrolled at TAFE to learn English.

With the support of the ASC team, Amir signed up for RESP (Refugee Employment Support Program).  Managed by the NSW Government’s Department of Industry, RESP addresses the specific challenges facing people seeking asylum in finding skilled employment. 

Through his rigueur and determination, Amir completed a Certificate IV in Project Management at TAFE, as well as a Business Skills course. He also attended a What Employers Expect workshop, delivered by Hudson Recruitment at ASC as well as regular mentoring sessions with his job advisor. In order to build his Australian professional experience, he even took a short-term unpaid position as a team assistant in a multicultural organisation.

He was finally able to enrol in a Certificate IV in Communications and Marketing at TAFE. Shortly after, he was offered a part-time Marketing Officer position which soon grew into a full-time role. 

Amir has since then advertised his own job vacancies and the first place he went to for candidates was ASC’s Employment Service. He shared these words with Alex Taylor, ASC’s Employment Coordinator:  “Thank you so much for your great support and motivation.  I will never forget the support I received from you and all your colleagues at the ASC”