Afghan refugee supported into work despite COVID shutdowns

25 November 2020

A young AMES Australia refugee client has been supported to secure a job in a laboratory winning out among hundreds of candidates.

Afghan Waris Hasham started work this week after attending an open house at Ortesi, in Keysborough, a laboratorywhich manufactures 3D orthotics and braces.

Waris, who came to Australia in January under the Humanitarian Settlement Program after working as an interpreter with the Australian Defence Force, was supported AMES Senior Employment Officer Jane Tierney and Case Manager Durkka Jena.

Jane said Waris was referred to AMES Individualised Pathway Plan (IPP) and helped to upskill.

“Waris has some engineering qualifications from overseas and we helped him have these recognised as well as referring him to an IELTS program at AMES Flagstaff,” she said.

“He was chosen from among hundreds of applicants for the job at Ortesi. Many thanks to Durkka for a wonderful collaboration with jobactive services and kudos to Waris who, despite his youth, displayed a professionalism beyond his years.

“Waris arrived early on Friday along with hundreds of other candidates, was sent away for three hours until they could meet with him one on one. When he returned for his interview, he impressed from the start,” Jane said.

Waris said he was very happy to have gained a job after using the COVID lockdown period to improve his skills and employability.

“During COVID it was difficult to find work so I tried to make changes to my life and do some study,” Waris said.

“Jane and Durkka helped me a lot and finally I got an interview. Then I got this job as a lab technician,” he said.

“It’s going well, I like the job and I have nothing to complain about,” Waris said.

The IPP assesses the skills, experience and goals of participants, as well as any barriers to achieving employment. The aim is to provide newly arrived refugee jobseekers with tailored support to assist them on to a pathway to employment or education.