Coming from Africa, I knew I had to work hard to find a job and I was ready given the fact that things are done differently in the western world. But alas, I was devastated and I was getting desperate to say the least”. When Enyinna Ngwobia left Nigeria, he had completed graduate studies including a Master’s in Political Science and another in Public Administration. He also had over 10 years of professional experience with the last two particularly focused on project management and business but despite this, still found it very difficult to get a job in Ireland. “My applications for employment were always rejected, even in cases I was sure I was qualified for, so consequently, I jumped to the easy conclusion that I was a victim of ‘racism’. I lost confidence and zeal, believing all was futile”.
Joining the EPIC Programme, Enyinna was able to understand the differences between Nigeria and Ireland regarding the process of applying for jobs. “After attending the training I could hardly recognise my original CV. I was able to reshape it and I learned more about how to prepare cover letters. I attended a mock interview in CPL and the recruiter prepared me on how to explain the responsibilities presented in my CV using key words. Additionally, the team building activities organised with classmates were very helpful to socialise and develop networks”.
Enyinna was assisted through one-to-one sessions with an expert Training and Employment Officer receiving guidance and supports on how to shape his career path in Ireland. “I was able to identify specific roles suitable for my background and knowledge. The coaching sessions allowed me to learn more about how to present my experience in my job applications and helped me to build my confidence”.
Business in the Community Ireland’s networks with companies were key to Enyinna’s progression into employment. “The learning sessions about CV preparation and interview skills provided by recruiters and staff members from blue chip businesses such as Accenture, Indeed and Enterprise Rent a Car were the best part of my experience. At the end, I was ready for those interviews and able to present myself in four sentences within thirty seconds. Such links with businesses helped me to find a job with a leading ICT company and now I know for sure that I will soon get into my dream career”.
Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) specialises in providing advice and guidance to leading companies on corporate responsibility and sustainability and also works in education and employment. Regarding employment, BITCI runs programmes tackling issues on integration and social inclusion working with businesses, the government and the non-profit sector. The EPIC Programme support immigrants to become economically independent and more socially integrated in Ireland. Participants develop job seeking skills through pre-employment training, one-to-one support and work experience opportunities. Since its inception in 2008, over 2,600 people from 100 nationalities have engaged with the services. 67% of clients have secured employment or entered training or volunteering positions.