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The EKC Group’s intoWork business unit helped 10 men forced out of Afghanistan to find their feet in England.
Lecturers offered support and training to the Afghans who had recently made the journey from their homeland.
IntoWork was approached by the Home Office, Ashford Borough Council and the Department for Work and Pensions to help with their transition into English life.
The students - who were joined by a Zimbabwean - went onto complete HGV driving courses, with intoWork assisting them in the two-week preliminary stage of this at its site on Station Road, Ashford, before they are given practical training by Mitie.
Alongside more specific training, learners were also taught a range of methods to improve their chances of employment here including British CV do’s and don’ts as well as interview techniques.
When asked how they found intoWork’s provision, one of the men – who can’t be named for safety reasons – said: “It’s very good, we’ve got lots of new information about how we can work here and our employment capabilities.
“I now feel like there are lots of doors open to me, and we’ve also been taught which doors to knock on.
“By coming here to IntoWork, we are meeting new people and getting very useful advice which will help us take on more opportunities.”
Noting that he finds England to be “even better than expected”, he also praised the local community, the Home Office and Ashford Borough Council for their support.
IntoWork’s Richard Hoshea, who has been working with the Level 1 Logistics learners, said at the time: “They are the first group to do this qualification with us and it’s the first time they’ve studied for a qualification in England ’so it’s a massive achievement for them, and they’ve shown how motivated they are to learn.
“They learn quickly and it’s obvious they want to make a difference.”
Ashford Borough Council Leader Cllr Gerry Clarkson said: “On behalf of the Council our heartfelt thanks goes out to everyone who has responded so warmly and positively to welcome our Afghan families to Ashford.
“This includes EKC intoWork, who are helping to train some of them to become HGV drivers.
“We often talk about ourselves as a caring borough and it’s at times like this that we realise just how important that is as we help these people come to terms with the traumatic events they have lived through, and integrate them into our community.”
EKC intoWork provides a range of programmes focused on building skills and confidence to prepare adults to enter into sustainable employment.
For more information on intoWork, click here.