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two quantity surveyors working

A refugee from Syria, now living in Merseyside, hopes the help and support they’ve received from the National Careers Service is their next step to returning to employment.

At the National Careers Service, we refer to people who come to us for support, advice and guidance as ‘customers’, even though there’s absolutely no charge for the support we offer. This particular customer has chosen to remain anonymous, but was still keen to share their story with others who might find themselves in a similar situation.

Our customer came from Syria three years ago, with 16 years of experience as a Quantity Surveyor, but found it much harder to find employment here in the UK.

They considered there were several challenges standing in their way of getting a job: “I think the fact that my qualifications and certificates were all from overseas, along with the language difference, could be one of the problems, so I decided to set about improving my skills,” they told us.

After being referred to the National Careers Service by the Job Centre, our customer was teamed up to receive support from Janet, one of our  Careers Advisers.

Careers Adviser, Jan, helping a customer at a careers fairJanet told us about her impressions when they first met; “This person struck me as a determined individual,” she said. “Someone who was not going to let anything stand in their way. I found them very positive and eager to learn.”

 “We sat down and updated their CV so that it was much more likely to be considered by potential employers, and we searched through possible online courses with the Digital College.

“We decided, together, that ‘Awareness of Health and Safety for Employees’ would be a good starting point.”

Our customer was signed up and passed the course successfully. “Janet was very supportive and kind,” they said.

Moving from one country to another is a big deal for anyone under any circumstances. Our former Quantity Surveyor found it particularly challenging: “It was difficult in the early years to live and work here and get used to the culture, but slowly, things are beginning to improve.”


The main aim was to be able to be able to be self-sufficient and not have to rely on benefits.

“The UK Government is good. It provides everything we need for me and my family, but I really want to work, earn a wage and be able to support myself,” they told us.

“It’s frustrating for me; it never used to be this way. I’m trying everything to get back into work. Thankfully the National Careers Service is doing everything they can to help and hopefully having this new certificate will give me better opportunities.”

Things are already starting to look up for our customer, they are about to start a Master’s Degree in ‘Construction Project Management’ at Liverpool John Moores University.

They are hopeful that, once they’ve completed this degree – and with the continued support of the National Careers Service, they’ll be able to return to employment in the near future.

We wish them the best of luck, and remind them of an inspiration quote that our Careers Adviser, Janet, likes to share with the people she works with; “ Today is a new beginning, and tomorrow is full of possibilities.”

When you’re facing challenges on your career path, it’s good to know there are people who can offer you a helping hand along the way.

And if you’d like more information on how we can support YOU, just give us a call on 0800 100 900 or visit our website at


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