Hiring refugees: ‘we have an amazing wealth of talent on our hands’

“Can you drive a truck? It’s a temporary job with a Saudi Arabian company.”

Laughing with customers one baking hot Saturday last month, while encouraging them to taste chai teas from a market stall in Forest Hill, south-east London, marked a momentous occasion for Ahmed Yousefi*. After a long battle to find employment, it was the Iranian refugee’s first day of work since arriving in the UK eight months ago. “I really enjoyed it as I could practise my English and meet different people,” says Yousefi, whose dream is to be a dentist. “It’s interesting – I think it’ll be a fun place to work.”

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  • Brenda

    Sounds like it’s mostly employers seeking low-paid workers and act as if they’re doing them a favour.

    • It’s cheap labour disguised as a good deed. This is a win-win situation leftists who want to signal their virtue and keep things on the cheap.

  • Ed

    “…Mursal Hedayat, for example, witnessed the plight of her mother, a civil engineer who not only had to abandon her possessions and social connections when she fled Afghanistan for the UK in 1994, but also the professional identity she’d worked hard to build. “Settled in one of the world’s most developed economies, she encountered numerous barriers to using her ample skill and experience for the benefit of herself or society,” says Hedayat. These included no recognition for her overseas qualifications and lack of UK-based experience…”

    Oh for fuck sake write the exams, prove it, and stop whining.

    • Blacksmith

      Apparently building mud and stone huts and ditch digging didn’t rate high on the civil engineers test back in the 90’s eh?

  • Exile1981

    help wanted, short term contract, good benefits, must be willing to wear a vest and wanter into public places.

  • simus1

    Reminds of a story told to me by a Brit who came over after the war. He and his newly arrived “shipmates” spent a week hanging around the “official” employment exchange where almost no job prospects were ever forthcoming. Some were so discouraged they were making plans to go back.

    He was more astute and started pounding the pavement and eventually wandered into a large Bell Telephone installation.

    “Any work?”
    “Know anything about batteries”
    “Some.”
    “Go to this address, give them this note. Do whatever they tell you. Be back here early tomorrow morning ready to work.”

    God indeed helps those who help themselves.

  • Frances

    My spouse used to find himself working with professionals from other countries, English skills varied; understanding of Canadian jokes and culture was the biggest stumbling block. Some of these professionals were really great; others had more attitude than ability.

  • JoKeR
  • “Can you drive a truck? It’s a temporary job with a Saudi Arabian company.”

    I wonder what the Guardian would think of your witty new caption for their artfully posed photo?

  • So, they turn up with no recognised qualifications, no experience, and no ability to speak the language, and are shocked, horrified, insulted, outraged and various other words from the dictionary when they are not offered the job?

  • Leonard Jones

    Since when has goat hearding and substistance farming qualified as a talent?

  • Oracle9

    So what was that crap we had to endlessly hear about – taking care of Canada’s “middle class”? I guess he just forgot amid the euphoria of being idolized by the litany of identities on which he’s making such a great impression.

  • Tanya

    Yep! nobody can build a suicide vest or a car bomb quite like an Islamic refugee.