Elyas and his family arrived in the UK in January 2022. They were relocated to a bridging hotel in Bradford as part of the Government’s response to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. Elyas had worked in the British Embassy in Kabul as a teacher of English. This meant that he and his family were not safe in Afghanistan as the Taliban targeted those who worked to help the previous regime and its allies.

Elyas has a wife and two children and also has caring responsibilities for his mother and brother. His brother has learning difficulties. Elyas was keen to find employment in the education sector so he could support his family financially.

Elyas joined the Specialist Training and Employment Programme (STEP) in March 2022. He had an in depth discussion with his Training and Employment Advisor. Together they designed a tailored action plan with the ultimate goal for Elyas to continue with his teaching career in the UK. Elyas was supported to write a CV to reflect his teaching experience, he attended coaching sessions to help understand the UK employment culture, interview techniques sessions and studied the wider culture of the UK.

STEP provided funding to translate Elyas’ qualifications to the UK equivalents and provided him with a laptop to support job searching, employment research and study. Working in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), we were able to secure Elyas a place at Bradford College to study for a level 5 qualification in teaching English to speakers of other languages. When a position became vacant within Horton Housing for an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) tutor, Elyas was supported to write a cover letter, complete the application process and prepare for the interview.

Elyas was successful in securing this position and now works as an ESOL tutor on STEP. He delivers ESOL lessons to other Afghan participants. The learners have made great progress under Elyas’ teaching, and have found it a great asset to have a teacher who not only shares their language but also their migrant journey. His lessons are always well attended and lively and his learners enjoy them very much. Elyas says that STEP gave him the encouragement, knowledge and confidence to find employment which will help him rebuild his career and life in the UK.

STEP is run with World Jewish Relief and is part funded by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

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