Fresh Starts for Pathways to Work Customer Service Graduates

By Jessica Russell | October 7, 2021
Photo: Zainab – Back row, third from left. Behnoush – front row, second from left. Sarah – back row, sixth from left.

Navitas English’s Pathways to Work program supports refugees and migrants to gain skills and valuable local work experience to kick off their career journeys in Australia. We spoke to three amazing students from our 2021 Pathways to Work Customer Service Fairfield college class, who have all landed jobs in key industries.

The pandemic has shown us more than ever, that customer service industries are truly a touchpoint, and often the life blood of our communities. Bringing people together and creating support systems for many, local shops and restaurants are places where people can share a laugh, a message of support and hope in good times and bad.

These spaces can be a constant amongst the change, and a microcosm of Australian culture themselves, with employees from every corner of the world, all backgrounds and all walks of life working together to support our communities.

Sarah’s Story

Sarah Kayagai left South Sudan to join her husband in Sydney and start her new life, with experience working in media and television. Completing the AMEP course at Bankstown college, she then moved on to complete the Pathways to Work (PtW) Customer Service course at Fairfield college.

With a love of working with people and keen desire to get started on her new career in Australia, Sarah said she enrolled to learn new skills, and help in resume writing and understanding the workplace in Australia.

Sarah said, “The course gave me confidence and helped me improve my skills on how to talk to people. My work experience also helped me learn how to talk to people from different backgrounds and gave me new skills.”

Sarah is now working as a key worker at Woolworths in Fairfield in priority fulfilment and in processing online orders and loves her job. Continuing her love of working with people, she aims to work in the hospitality sector.

Behnoush’s Story

Behnoush Amini arrived in Australia from Iran with an academic background in Economics and Arts, working as an Administration Officer and Music Teacher.

After completing AMEP, Behnoush completed the PtW Customer Service program, aiming to improve her English-speaking skills, learn about working in Australia, learn new skills, and gain work experience.

“In the course, we learnt about customer service, how to write resumes and how to do job interviews. I liked the course because it built up my confidence and I met new people. My work experience was helpful to see how the Australian workplace is different from my country.”

With a keen interest in business and meeting new people, Behnoush is now working at a Subway restaurant. She said, “I like my job because it is improving my confidence, listening skills, English and customer service skills and I am meeting new people. I am also learning new skills such as using cash registers and learning how a business works.”

Zainab’s Story

In Iran, Zainab left school after completing Year 10 schooling, and was a caregiver for her family. Zainab enrolled in the PtW course to continue improving her English, learn about customer service, and the Australian workforce. She said, “I learnt how to do resumes and job interviews, superannuation, awards, employment information and understand the workplace.”

Her work experience provider was so impressed by her that they offered her a job. Now working as a key worker at Woolworths, Zainab said,

“I was very excited when I was offered a job because I have never worked before and had been applying for jobs and was not successful. I thought I may never get a job in Australia. I did my work experience at Merrylands Woolworths and they offered me a job!”

Find out more about the Pathways to Work course here.

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