A formerly-homeless man is celebrating after finding work with the University of Manchester, after successfully undertaking a specialist pre-recruitment programme carried out by The Skills Company - part of the Manchester Growth Company.

Frezghi Teklemichael, 29, came to the UK as an asylum seeker from Eritrea, where he had previously worked as a teacher. Following a successful application for asylum, he unfortunately became homeless after financial support from the National Asylum Support Service ended.

In March 2017, Frezghi had been unemployed for three-and-a-half years and was living in a hostel in Rochdale when he was referred to The Works - a joint venture between The Skills Company and the University, that seeks to equip people with the skills and qualifications required for select roles at the University.

Having successfully completed the training programme in April 2017, he was appointed to the role of Building Attendant in the University’s Estates and Facilities Directorate.

Frezghi said: “The University is a great place to work and I have been made to feel very welcome. I am developing new skills and beginning to focus on my long-term career goals here in the UK. It is so good to be in work and contributing to my new country.”

Jayne Worthington, Managing Director of The Skills Company, part of the Manchester Growth Company, said:

“We’re immensely proud of the role The Works played in helping Frezghi get back into work. His success highlights the benefits that such collaborative efforts can have in developing fruitful pathways into work - empowering people to find fulfilling jobs, regardless of their current circumstances.”

Steve Grant, Assistant Director of HR at the University said: “The achievements of Frezghi illustrate that, with some support, it is possible for people who have experienced homelessness and other barriers to address the challenges they have faced and carve a new path for themselves.

“Employers in all sectors and of all sizes across Greater Manchester have a key role to play in addressing homelessness and other barriers through simple actions, whether it’s providing work experience, helping someone prepare for an interview or offering a job.”