“Ewa helped me learn how to use a PC and how to look for work by myself. When I come in-to the centre I meet new people so I can practice my English as well. When I first came I was worried about my future and if I would get a job, now I know I will be working again soon. ”

After the launch of BBO at the Refugee and Migrant Centre Tibor was one of the first to register with us when he heard about the help and support we could offer him through ESOL classes and supported job search.

Tibor moved to the UK in 2011 from Slovakia, he quickly found work and soon after his family joined him in Wolverhampton.

In May 2016 Tibor lost his job; working in a factory with lots of other people from Eastern European countries, the need to learn English had not been a priority for Tibor and he hadn’t picked up the language as well as he thinks he should have done. Now, being unemployed, Tibor struggled with applications and even accessing basic services like applying for benefits due to his language barriers, this left Tibor feeling isolated and frustrated.

Tibor had been accessing RMC for support for a few months, originally for translation support services and then benefit advice when he made an application for JSA, but with the launch of our BBO programmes he was finally able to access the range of services he believes he requires to enable him to find sustainable work. Through attending weekly ESOL classes Tibor’s spoken English has vastly improved, he now feels confident in engaging in conversations and has started making telephone enquiries to agencies as part of his job search. By attending supported job search sessions and PC classes, he is now able to carry out job search by him-self and record the jobs he has applied for, learning new skills has given Tibor more confidence in his own ability. Tibor also believes that attending the centre on a regular basis has improved his knowledge of the local area, and by talking with other people from different cultures he has im-proved his understanding of the common barriers people encounter while looking for work making him feel less isolated. He has improved his spo-ken English by engaging in regular conversations with other participants thus enhancing his communication skills.

Tibor is still looking for work, but he is now taking a lot more ownership for completing his own job search, using PCs to look for job vacancies and making applications. He is still attending ESOL classes with us but he is now confident enough to engage in conversational English which will be an important skill for attending interviews. More importantly Tibor comes to the centre with a smile now, he feels more positive about his prospects and understands the progress he has made so far in improving his spoken English and his ability to use a PC to access on line services; these will be skills he will be able to use throughout his life.