Mowafak Al-Saty arrived in Britain from Syria six years ago as a teenager. Since then he has taken on casual roles in hospitality to support himself while studying for a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
At the age of 24, Mowafak was referred to the Ethos Young Leaders Kickstart programme https://www.ethosvo.org/project/young-leaders-kickstart/ by his work coach at the Job Centre Plus in Cheetham Hill in February 2021. His Kickstart placement lasts for six months until the end of August.
Mowafak describes his experiences on the programme that provides work opportunities for young people anywhere in the UK who want to get involved in digital knowledge work.
“I never wanted to take money from the government but after I graduated in 2020 I found it really difficult to find work in the pandemic, and in the end I had to give in and apply for Universal Credit out of necessity.”
“The Ethos Young Leaders Kickstart opportunity sounded like a dream to me: I became very excited because it offered all kinds of work to benefit people. I saw how much my people suffered in Syria and felt so bad that I could not do anything to help them, so I decided I would do any kind of work to prevent human suffering.”
“I am motivated by the thought that I could help someone to improve their life and that I can make the world a better and safer place. I believe that when it comes to the world of work, your only limit is your imagination. In my first month at Ethos, I got involved with as many different things as I could! I worked within the people team, finance, Young Leaders, Noggin (a town centre data management tool), Team Police and more. This allowed me to discover what I did and didn’t enjoy and to move around the business accordingly. Even though I enjoyed trying to solve various complex problems, I learned that some of the finance aspects weren’t for me. I was able to direct my energy towards the aspects of Ethos that I did find interesting such as the hands-on engineering and product design work. For example, I designed a camera bracket to hold and reposition the camera according to the targeted point of view so that we could accurately collect town centre data. Ethos has given me the freedom to learn more about myself and what interests me. I have really appreciated the responsibility I have been given and I’m excited to continue my journey with them”
Mowafak’s contribution to the Ethos work platform includes being a wellbeing mentor and he has discovered a passion for recruitment as well as expressing a desire to be trained as a work navigator. All his hard work, and his concern for the wellbeing of other partners is recognised monthly on his Value Exchange Discussion document. One of the Ethos product owners, Sven Latham, recently expressed his appreciation:
“Mowafak is continuing to show excellent dedication to the development of Ethos, including Noggin and Kwantify. His work with testing has the potential to significantly upgrade our collective offering and this is an area I think his background and skills will shine. Over the next month I’d like to see Mowafak take ownership of this process entirely – it won’t be easy as it’s a significant part of software development, but with support and the right aspiration this is something he may well excel in. As ever, a great team player and always enjoyable working with Mowafak. Keep up the great work!”
Young Leaders is an Ethos Work venture launched in response to the Covid emergency in 2020. The scheme offers training, development and workplace opportunities to anyone living anywhere in the UK, aged 16 – 24 and on Universal Credit. This is a youth-led solution operated by a team of partners and mentors from within the Ethos group, and supported by the UK government’s Kickstart Scheme which is funded by the Department of Work and Pensions.
This case study was developed in collaboration with the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) to celebrate World Youth Skills Day 2021 and is published on the ERSA website. http://ersa.org.uk/media/case-studies/kickstart-case-study-mohammed-mowafak-al-saty-ethos-vo-ltd