Seetec Outsource is supporting Afghan refugees in Liverpool to improve their language skills and build a new life for themselves in the UK.

Since their evacuation from Afghanistan in August, refugees have been placed in temporary accommodation in the city while they wait to be permanently resettled. Grateful to have reached safety, and for the warm welcome they have been given by the City of Liverpool, their thoughts are now turning to the future.

New language, new culture, new beginnings

Having left behind the homes, jobs and education they worked so hard for, refugees in Liverpool are now looking to rebuild their lives here in the UK. Through our adult education and traineeships provision, Seetec Outsource is supporting many of them to improve their knowledge of English language and culture, while offering practical support and guidance to help them back on their feet.

Over twenty young Afghan learners aged between 16 and 24 are attending an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) traineeship programme in the city centre, which combines classroom learning with a period of work experience.

Older adults are eligible for ESOL provision funded through Liverpool City Region’s Adult Education Budget (AEB) – some are attending classes in the city, while others are being taught at the hotel where they are staying.

The aim of both the traineeship and AEB provision is to help learners build their language skills, progress into work or further study, and integrate successfully into life in the UK.

Waheed, 22

One learner who is benefitting from the ESOL traineeship programme is 22-year-old Waheed, who was a civil engineering student in Kabul before his family was forced to flee Afghanistan. He has high hopes for his future in the UK but spoke very little English when he first arrived in the country. With Seetec’s support, he will still be able to pursue his career goals.

He said: “I really want to become a civil engineer in the UK but need to improve my English before I can continue my studies here.

“Although I learned some English in school, I didn’t have the ability or confidence to have a proper conversation. After just 3 weeks on the ESOL course I’ve improved so much.”

Muzhgan, 21

Muzhgan is one of just a handful of female learners attending the city centre traineeship programme. She was a fourth-year medical student in Kabul before her family was evacuated and has dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon.

Having lost both her parents, and more recently a brother who was killed in a bomb attack on his office, Muzhgan finally feels safe in Liverpool and has embraced the city as her new home. Despite the challenges she’s faced, she is more determined than ever to turn her ambitions into a reality, and the support offered by Seetec will take her a step closer to achieving her goals.

She said: “The course has been so much fun, and we’ve taken part in lots of activities. It has helped me to feel more settled in the UK.

“We’re also getting practical support with job and university applications, which is really helpful. It’s important for me to go back to university and continue my studies so that I can follow my dream of becoming a plastic surgeon one day.”

Sangar, 17

Another young learner who is benefitting from the ESOL traineeship programme is 17-year-old Sangar, who left Kabul in August with his father, sister and four brothers. He had learned a little English in school – and by watching American films or playing video games – but after just three weeks on programme he feels much more confident.

He said: “My English has already improved since joining the course, and it’s great to have something to get up for in the mornings.

“I’m not sure what I want to do in future but I’m going to continue my studies and hopefully find a great job. I love cooking so could become a chef one day. I have lots of options now.”

Building a brighter future

Seetec supports people from all walks of life, providing them with the skills and support they need to pursue and achieve their ambitions. With provision across the city, we are firmly committed to helping Liverpool’s newest residents build a brighter future for themselves and their families.

Andi MacGregor, Operations Director for Education and Skills explained: “At Seetec Outsource our aim has always been – and always will be – to change lives for the better.

“We can support Afghan refugees by giving them the skills and capabilities they need to successfully integrate into life in the UK and become active and valued members of their new communities.

“It’s rewarding to see the impact that our provision is already having on refugees in Liverpool, and we will continue to work with partners in the region to identify any additional support needs and ensure they have access to the right services at this critical time.”