• EDF Energy

    “I realised from our very first meeting the passion, expertise and proactive outlook .. takes to helping qualified refugees into full time employment. It is also clear that Transitions... is into the next stage of stakeholder engagement and that Transitions is making quite a remarkable impression on a range of stakeholders“

    Karen Elgy, Sustainability Performance Manager, EDF Energy
  • Crossrail

    “It is widely predicted that the UK will need more skilled engineers at both technician and graduate level. Transitions provides a credible source of engineers with the skills and experience to contribute to meeting this need. We encourage engineering companies to engage with Transitions to identify potential opportunities to meet their specific needs.“

    Bola Fatimilehin, Head of Diversity, Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Crossrail

    “Transitions provides an invaluable service for its highly-skilled refugee clients and KPMG has been delighted to run a series of employability skills workshops with them for teams of our volunteers. These have been insightful, impactful, rewarding and beneficial for all involved. A great way to put your skills to good use!“

    Corporate Responsibility Team, KPMG
  • National Grid

    "Transitions opens up an avenue for us to recruit a diverse graduate workforce. There's an option for recruiting to more experienced roles too. There's a real demand in the UK for highly skilled candidates in cables and tunnels and this presents a real alternative to find international people without the complexities around international recruitment."

    Sharon Goymer, Resourcing Manager, National Grid
  • Refugee Action Kingston

    "Transitions was able to identify a suitable candidate immediately and pass those details on. Our request was quite specific and only a short-term contract, so it did not attract a lot of general interest. without the use of the service, we may have been short of candidates. We recruited the Transitions candidate."

    Heather Knight, Project Manager, Refugee Action Kingston
  • Circle Housing

    “Demonstrating a clear commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is an important component of being a modern, inclusive employer of choice. Working with Transitions really is a win win. Skill and talent are brought into your business that meet your business requirements. The team at Transitions have a rigorous matching service that makes it easy to support ready to work refugee professionals.”

    Jen Smith, Group Head of Diversity, Circle Housing Group
  • Crossrail

    "We gained a first-class civil engineer employee as a result of Transitions. The internship and intern was above our expectations.. The refugee community offers a good untapped market."

    Dawn Barker, Head of HR, Crossrail

Case Studies

On this page you'll find case studies from refugees who, aided with the help of Transitions, found their way back into work.

Biniam Haddish, Electrical and Electronic Engineer

  • Origin: Eritrea

What were the issues keeping you out of work?

  • An MSC helped: Initially, although I was an experienced Graduate overseas, I felt I needed to transfer my engineering skills to UK/EU specifications and learn some more, so I decided to take a UK MEng. I gained a First. My Eritrean Degree is seen as an HND by Naric and many employers.
  • UK Business Culture. In Eritrea it is not business practice to push yourself forward for a job. It is the norm not to! Graduates are allocated jobs in Eritrea and are not asked to present their hard and soft competencies. It took some time for me to acquire the understanding of what UK employers were looking for. I was playing the wrong game!
  • Very stressful Refugee situation. It is enormously difficult to be forced to move countries by persecution, lose your job and home. There is little assistance in the UK and I had to restart my life under a lot of stress. It is very hard to have to claim asylum, sort out housing, financial assistance, try not to succumb to depression – and try to find a professional job. Getting refugee status did not result in additional help to find a job. I had to struggle. Jobcentre Plus were not helpful at all - in fact the opposite. Many employers don’t understand what refugee status is. Most recruitment agencies want 3 years’ references – ideally UK references. Graduate employers want UCAS points.

What things made a difference?

Learning from experience how to job search effectively. I got better at jobsearch after a lot of false starts.

Transitions support When I came across Transitions on LinkedIn I started using their services. That definitely fast-tracked things. They invited me to apply to National Grid via their agency and provided workshops and 1-1 support to assist with that.

UK Engineering work experience: My internship at the time when I was doing my MSc really helped me to become more familiar with UK business culture. The engineering principles were quite similar to my existing experience.

How is your career going now?

Great. I have a well paid job with great CPD and prospects.

Mebrahtu A. Woldemariam, Marine Scientist

  • Current Job & Employer: Marine Science Researcher, freelance consultant with Blue Ventures Conservation
  • Origin: Eritrea

What were the issues keeping you out of work?

It is very hard to indicate specific issues as it could be for several reasons that work together in combination but a few examples are:

  • Lack of work experience in the UK.
  • Lack of understanding the UK job market.
  • Lack of understanding on part of employers that refugees could come with enough qualification to complete tasks appropriately and perform adequately.
  • Lack of proper support, particularly from the JC+. Many of staff members at JC+ are not skilled enough to help job seekers meet the main criteria set by employers. Their main duty seems only to ensure that jobseekers are making job searches with out consideration whether they are appropriate or not. In addition, many of the services do not cater for refugees, particularly refugees with qualifications from overseas.
  • Lack of integration between the services of the JC+ and other professional bodies trying to assist refugees.

What things made a difference?

Trying to avoid creating a gap in career by staying focused and positive made the main difference. The targeted and assertive approach Transitions follows helped me achieve this. In Transitions there is understanding of the needs of educated refugees that require specific supports both as refugees and job seekers as career professionals.

How is your career going now?

My career is progressing well and in the way I wanted it to be. It could have been better but I cannot complain too much. The good thing is that I am still in my field of profession and I haven’t had a gap in my career.

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  A highly skilled refugee should rebuild their career for everyone’s benefit", Transitions Founder Sheila Heard speaks on Share Radio:

  Jon Hull, Group Head of Resourcing, Carillion Plc talks about inclusion of refugees in resourcing:

  Transitions services - Financial Services professional employed in London:

  Collaborating with other refugee supporting agencies - Louise Salmon RAGU London Met University: