Natalia arrived in London in early 2018, following her husband, who had already begun work in the city. While she knew the relocation would be difficult, nothing prepared her for how her life would change, nor the isolation she would face.
Leaving behind friends and a prestigious job in a managerial position, Natalia felt alone and deflated. Being an active, hardworking and outgoing person, Natalia felt trapped: she lacked a support network, didn’t speak English, had no UK-based work experience and, as a result, couldn’t find a job.
Natalia’s experiences are far from uncommon among recent migrants. Despite having two university degrees and 11 years’ experience in accountancy, Natalia discovered that a lack of
UK work experience and English language skills can affect even the most accomplished candidate’s job prospects.
HealthProm is working to counter migrant de-skilling through our Open Doors project, which provides services including mental health support, employment advice, English classes and other activities that contribute to the women’s integration into society.
Now, six months on from joining the HealthProm project, Natalia’s prospects, and confidence, are on the up. After English language classes, workshops on finding employment in the UK and experience gained volunteering with HealthProm, she has the hard and soft skills she needs to compete in the UK job market. With her place on a coveted internship programme in an accounting firm, she is looking forward to a bright future.
“I am very grateful that I’ve met these kind, empathic people who gave me good advice and supported me. The HealthProm team helped me to integrate into English culture very smoothly by providing training seminars, English lessons and a chance to meet interesting people. And by choosing me as an accounting support volunteer, they helped me to understand how the accounting system works in the UK.
“Now, I’m thrilled to apply the knowledge that I gained at HealthProm to my new job.”