Yusuf Dogal spent a year unemployed when he first arrived in the UK from Northern Cyprus, because he didnt speak any English.
But after just two weeks with CONELs Work Based Learning Centre, he has landed a coveted job as a trainee journalist.
Yusuf, 24, graduated from university in Northern Cyprus with a degree in politics and social policy, but his lack of English was a barrier to him securing work.
Having been referred to CONEL by the Employment Service, Yusuf started learning English at the WBL Centre in The Technopark, Tottenham Hale, and started Job search sessions with Recruitment Officer Vikki Horner.
He had only been doing this for two weeks when Vikki secured him a work experience placement at the Turkish-speaking newspaper Olay, based in Green Lanes, Stoke Newington.
Olays General Manager Nesim Fehmi admits he was a bit sceptical when Vikki first approached him about giving Yusuf a two week placement.
Mr Fehmi said: Many young people want to work in journalism and I have had lots of them come in to ask for jobs. But Yusuf has been the best trainee I have ever come across.
I really couldnt ask any more of him. He came in here and worked for four weeks without any money, determined to prove himself. His whole attitude to work was excellent. He set out to prove what he could do, and he has certainly achieved that.
I think its in the interests of this newspaper to employ him. Yusuf is a very good example to other young people about setting your heart on something and then going out to get it.
Yusuf began his work at the paper answering the telephone and checking information for classified adverts. Now he has the chance to learn skills such as reporting and editing.
Olay is a free newspaper with a circulation of 15,000. It is distributed throughout London and surrounding areas at Turkish-speaking outlets such as the Turkish Embassy, solicitors and accountants offices, supermarkets and community centres.
Yusuf says landing the job has allowed him to earn enough money to pass his driving test driving being an essential skill for a journalist who wants to get to a story first!
I am very happy here, he says. I hope to start doing some of the social features in the newspaper. Perhaps I can do some photography as well.
I would like to learn as many skills as possible so it will always be possible for me to be doing a job, no matter where I end up.
- Last Updated: 01 February 2003