Bekiry Ismail

Bekiry travelled to the UK with his wife Masra along with their son and daughter from Sudan in 2014, they have now settled in Glasgow. Since being in Glasgow, Bekiry has found it difficult to gain employment. One of the barriers to gaining employment, he feels, was his limitation of speaking English. Colleagues at FYFE & McGROUTHER spent quality time with Bekiry to help improve his English. 

After Bekiry completed his Construction Employability Fund programme with TIGERS, we caught up with him in his new role.
How did you hear about TIGERS’ and what was your experience like with us?

I heard about TIGERS’ from Springburn Job Centre. They advised me about the course and phoned to arrange an interview for me. Following a successful interview, I gained a place at their training centre in Bishopbriggs, where Alan
and David were my Trainers. I was in the Academy for four weeks, during that time I undertook training in Manual Handling, Abrasive Wheels, Asbestos Awareness, CSCS test and Certificate of Work Readiness. I found this to be challenging at times because English is not my first language, but over a period of time, I adapted with support from my Trainers and the development of friendships. My Trainers had a lot of patience, providing extra time to go over certain topics.
After I completed my training, I was provided a work placement opportunity in FYFE & McGROUTHER which lasted for nine weeks.

I really enjoyed being with  TIGERS’ because I was around different groups of people and given a work placement opportunity. This has also allowed me to develop new friendships. I really enjoyed learning about construction and enjoy working.

Glasgow is like home to me; I feel being at TIGERS’ and working with my employer, FYFE & McGROUTHER, has made me feel really supported at every stage I feel.
I am treated with respect and everyone has made me feel so welcome. If you have a dream, fight for it, do not give up. Be patient and in time it will happen.

What does a typical day look like in the role of a Warehouse Assistant?

I control the flow of the stock through a warehouse, monitoring goods in and out, safely and efficiently moving and handling items and keeping stock records. Within this I am what is known as a specialist picker, it is my responsibility to select goods which can be challenging at times as it is a fast-paced environment. If I need any assistance my supervisor Gary is there to help. Everyone takes turns to help and support each other. This is one aspect that stands out within the team is support.

Can you describe your transition from TIGERS’ to Fyfe & McGrouther?

I was delighted when I gained employment with FYFE & McGROUTHER, I didn’t expect it at all. I had worked hard to build up a good work ethic. If I could work more hours at FYFE & McGROUTHER I would, I am very happy here. I have completed previous courses, but TIGERS’ was different, you could even say,
special. FYFE & McGROUTHER eased the pressure of entering a new environment by making me feel like part of the family. I even have a work mamma – Sian.
We have a lovely connection and I am very happy here. Both TIGERS’ and FYFE & McGROUTHER have changed me, made me the person I am today. It has changed me because I am able to take on more responsibility, support and provide for my family.

Mike Cartwright, Warehouse Manager, provides insight into Bekiry’s journey so far...

Mike: Bekiry is a great addition to the team. He has a great attitude, always smiling and he has a willingness to learn. He has worked hard on learning and applying our processes and focused relentlessly on understanding our paperwork and documentation. This has been a challenge for him, given the fact that English is not his first language. However, we have supported him by giving him one on one support.