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Supporting a talented refugee back into the workforce

Category: diversity, diversity and inclusion, diverse workforce, Diversity and Inclusion Champions, placement, diverse team, refugees, diverse talent, diverse culture, CityFibre, cultural diversity

Diversity and Inclusion

Keziah Burke

At CityFibre, Inclusion and building a diverse workforce is important to us. As we are growing rapidly we recognise that we are in a great position to build a diverse workforce and in this case Keziah Burke, Build Assurance Manager, was able to support a talented refugee back into the workforce:

We were recruiting for a CDM Specialist when we first discovered Transitions London. The CDM role was quite specific focusing around the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015. When advertising we were looking for an individual that didn’t require any training and were ready to ‘run’ with the position. This is due to the fast-paced nature of our business and the need for more resource quickly.

When Sheila at Transitions London suggested she may have an individual capable of the role on a lower level, we thought it would be a good opportunity to meet him regardless of our initial expectation for the role. After having an Interview with Moutaz Alrayes we decided to offer him the role of Graduate CDM Associate. We saw Moutaz’s previous experience offered a great deal of  transferable skillset into the telecoms industry as he already had a vast knowledge from working on some major construction projects in previous roles.

To support the placement and upskill Moutaz we put together a training matrix covering any soft skills and technical training he would require to support his role. This included the funding of Moutaz NEBOSH Qualification in Construction.

A challenge we faced during the placement was around communication with some of our cities that had stronger accents, we were able to pair Moutaz with an individual in the compliance team who works in that region. This allowed Moutaz to ask questions in a team chat whilst in meetings and have regular catch ups afterwards to support his understanding. It also helped speed up his knowledge on abbreviations used at CityFibre. Although we have an internal glossary, sometimes it’s easier to learn whilst using them on a regular basis.

During the placement we had a monthly session with Sheila (Transitions lead) to monitor how the placement was going, and see if there was any additional support needed.

At the end of the 6 month placement Moutaz was excelling in the role and became a truly valuable member of the team, he picked up the role incredibly quickly and his work ethic shines through daily. Based on our experience we offered Moutaz a permanent position and salary increase at CityFibre, I look forward to continue working with him as seeing him excel and progress in his role.

I hope CityFibre can host more placements and utilise this incredible talent pool which is readily available, this supports our CityFibre values on encouraging diversity, as well as giving professionals an opportunity to restart there career in the UK.

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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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