During the past ten years, ACH has changed from a small-scale housing provider located in inner-city Bristol to a leading provider of refugee integration and employment services for newly arrived communities in the UK. Their CEO and founder Fuad Mahamed, came to the UK as a refugee with no English and went on to obtain a first class degree in Engineering from Bath University followed by an MSc in Management from Lancaster Business School.
They have been working on their #rethinkingrefugee programmes for the last three years. These are all about “good help” and incorporate research into the development of curricula and training for professionals to enable them to move away from providing “bad help”. This is very important in the field of refugee integration as traditional thinking follows a basic English (ESOL) + Employability = Entry level job approach.
They now employ 70 staff, work with 2,500 people per year, deliver services in the West of England and the West Midlands, and offer advice and assistance across the UK and beyond.
They have strong strategic partnerships with local authorities, government agencies, and education providers looking to access traditionally hard to reach groups. They co-design and co-create programmes with real experience and requirements, based on practitioner experience and tailored to the needs of specific target groups.
Myrielle has an employment history working within the food industry in France and Birmingham. Myrielle participated on our barista course that finished in November 2018. She was seeking an opportunity to get guidance on accomplishing her dream of owning and managing her own restaurant.
Attending ACH’s training centre in Smethwick, Myrielle took part in the 8-day barista course that consisted of a level 2 Food Safety in catering, product testing, interview preparation, CV building and customer service. At the end of the course there were guaranteed interviews for all candidates, with the opportunity to gain employment as a barista specialist at local coffee shop, Diplomats, located in Birmingham City Centre.
Diplomats were approached by our outreach and training officer, Shazia, to see if they wanted help with their recruitment. They agreed for ACH to act on their behalf by delivering the barista course to help them find the perfect candidate.
Myrielle successfully completed the course and did really well at the interview with Diplomats. She was then offered a part-time position as Barista specialist.
Joanna, her new employer, said:
“Myrielle is doing really well, so there are no concerns. She wants to set up her own business in a few years and realises that she can learn a lot from us, so we will be mentoring her toward this.”