Imagine being born in a war-torn country and having to flee your home to find a safer place to live. Unfortunately that is the case for many refugees including 24 year old Rizwan Rashidi.
Originally from Afghanistan and Pakistan, Rizwan and his family sought refuge in Australia, finding themselves in Coffs Harbour where Rizwan completed his schooling at the local Orara High School.
Keen to join the local workforce, Rizwan set out to find work in the industry he was most passionate about – Automotive.
“I love Coffs Harbour, it’s such a beautiful place. But it was so hard for me to find a job, I think because of my background. I didn’t have any qualifications and my English was limited,” he said.
Rizwan started to lose direction and motivation due to all the knockbacks. He connected with local Employment & Training service provider ETC for support.
“We placed Rizwan into ETC’s Resilience Workshop and he came out of this with a clearer picture and new zest in his goals to finding work,” said ETC Jobs Advisor Tim Joseph.
“He wanted to obtain an Automotive Apprenticeship and he had identified possible employers but it was at the end of the calendar year so this made it difficult.”
To keep Rizwan on track and motivated, ETC placed him into the SellIT Retail course where he gained skills in Customer Service.
“He also had a work placement with a local employer so he could get a feel for what it was like to work,” said Mr Joseph
Early in 2019, Rizwan was offered the opportunity to complete a PaTH internship with EndRust, who was recently awarded as the ETC Employer of the Month.
“This meant that Rizwan could show his keenness for this industry – which he did and the employer was really impressed. This then led to a Traineeship for continued employment, much to ours and Rizwans delight,” said ETC Business Relationship Advisor Kelly Patterson.
Six months later, Rizwan is thriving in his job and his family are proud of him.
“I’m loving it, it’s a good job. It feels good to be earning a qualification as well while I work. It’s a twelve month traineeship Certificate II in Automotive Body specialising in window tinting,” Rizwan said.
EndRust Manager Brad Lancer said Rizwan was a great fit for their small business.
“He’s a really smart guy and picked it all up pretty fast. He’s really helping us out,” Mr Lancer said.
So what does the future hold for Rizwan?
“At the moment I’m just trying to buy a car, so I’m saving for that,” he said.
“My goal is to just keep learning and finish my certificate, which would then mean a full time job here.”
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