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Placing Refugees into Employment: Norma Ibrahim Discusses her Personal Connection and Process

By March 5, 2021September 7th, 2021No Comments

Norma Ibrahim, Engagement Coordinator from the Fairfield Jobfind Centre
Norma Ibrahim, Engagement Coordinator from the Fairfield Jobfind Centre

Norma Ibrahim, an Employee Engagement Coordinator from the Fairfield Jobfind Centre, has had great success bridging the gap between refugees and the community. She has extensive links to the local community and business and brings more than nine years of experience to the role.

Norma has a personal connection with her refugee clients; as a first-generation immigrant who came to Australia in the 1970’s on a refugee visa, she is attuned to the needs and concerns of refugee jobseekers.

She uses a client-centered approach coupled with empathy making her successful in her role and popular with clients and employers.

“My process is to first sit with the client and understand their needs. I pick up my diary from that initial meeting, and I call the employer that fits the client. Both must be a good fit for each other.”

In Norma’s experience, the main barrier for refugees seeking work is fear.

“It’s not that they don’t want to work. Refugees deal with language barriers, some don’t drive, and others don’t want to go out of the comfort zone of Fairfield. Once I break down the barrier, they want to work.”

These are the three essential things Norma does to help jobseekers:

  • Find out what barrier/s the client has
  • Break down the barrier
  • Showing the client they can trust you

The phone is constantly ringing, but Norma feels responsible for all her jobseekers. She also has passion and compassion to unleash the potential of the people she works with everyday, which is a winning combination for the role.