“I would have liked to follow this training five years ago” Semereab from VOORwerk

Participants of the VOORwerk training courses learn what the unwritten rules of the Dutch labor market are and how you can use your soft skills. Since the end of 2018, 2,300 residents have followed the training. Physically or online. Semerab has also recently become Tesfagaber VOORwerk trainer: “I would have liked to have followed this training five years ago.”

“I am very aware of my soft skills. I have good communication skills, persistence and patience. If you have to run, like me, you might automatically have a lot of persistence. Patience was important during the dangerous journey, often without food or drink. But patience is also a good soft skill if you have to wait during the asylum procedure and if you have to live in a room with seven people. ”

Map out your own path

“In Eritrea, I obtained a diploma from a training comparable to Social Work. That diploma was recognized in the Netherlands. But the Dutch labor market was still completely new to me. In Eritrea, the government determines everything. A resume or applying for a job is not necessary. But in the Netherlands, you have to map out your own path. That worked out in the end, but I had to learn a lot. ”

Eye contact

“Years ago I was on the train with a Dutchman of about 50 years old. We had a very nice conversation. But after a while, he suddenly asked why I didn’t look at him. Eye contact is not neat in our culture. And in the Netherlands it is. Good thing I found out then and not during my first job interview. Actually, I would have liked to follow the VOORwerk training five years ago. ”

Lots of support

“When I got a residence permit and completed my integration, I was admitted to a work-study program Verzorgenden IG (individual health care, ed.). After that, I found work as an ambulatory family counselor and trainer for Eritrean status holders. Then someone pointed me to the vacancy of VOORwerk trainer at the COA. I am happy with the switch to COA. When I lived in the azc myself, I have always felt a lot of support from employees of the COA and the Dutch Council for Refugees. It’s great that I can now give something back and mean something to people who are in the same situation as I was recent. ”

The VOORwerk project is largely financed by the European Fund for Asylum and Migration and Integration (AMIF).