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Moutaz's story: Starting a new life from scratch

Category: testimonial, diversity, diverse workforce, Staff Testimonial, placement, Graduate, diverse, diverse team, refugees, diverse talent, diversity and inclusion, diverse culture, CityFibre, cultural diversity


Moutaz Alrayes, Graduate CDM Associate at CityFibre. Moutaz Alrayes, Graduate CDM Associate at CityFibre. 

Imagine being forced to leave your home country, to drop all your life, plans, dreams and start again somewhere entirely new. This is the reality for the thousands of refugees who have arrived in the UK over the last few years, whom I am one of them, I left behind me long life full of memories, dreams, successes, and experiments and had to start new life from scratch in a new country which is different from my own in all aspects such as language, habits, and culture.  And what made it even more difficult was the presence of a wife and three children who need to go to school.

After a year of moving from house to house and from city to another, eventually I have got a residence permit in the UK and now I can start another journey  that is no less difficult to find a job to support my family. Despite my long 14 years’ experience in civil engineering  and huge and unique  projects I worked in,  I was not preferable to employers in the UK as I have neither previous UK experience nor a British degree, in addition to my age which was close to forty years.

After many failed attempts to get a job, but that did not stop me, so I decided to start studying for the master’s degree in engineering management to enhance my chances of getting a job, and despite the financial and psychological exhaustion, I succeeded in getting the master’s degree in Oct 2020.

As said earlier, missing a previous UK experience make it so difficult to get a job, so it was the best solution is to get some help from organisation that help professional refugees, and which has a better experience in job field.

Finally, after 2 years and 8 months of attempts, I got a six-month placement opportunity in Cityfibre, and later a permanent position . I owe a lot to Cityfibre because although I did not comply with conditions of the proposed job, they believed in me and gave me the opportunity that I had long waited for, I owe Cityfibre because they believed in diversity and inclusion and where I have never felt I am different because I am from another race, language, colour, or culture.

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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