A 5,000-mile journey into employment

28th Feb 2024

They’ve travelled nearly 5,000 miles from Mumbai to their new home overlooking the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital – in the hope that their dreams of working for the NHS would become a reality.  

And now husband and wife team Murtaza and Lamiya Zaveri have done just that – both landing a job at Sandwell and West Birmingham (SWB) NHS Trust which will run the new hospital in Smethwick when it opens later this year.

Their ambitions were boosted with the help of The Learning Works, the Trust’s service which supports local people looking to move into the world of work or for a career change.  

Sharing their journey into employment, Pharmacy Support Officer, Murtaza said: “We moved to Unett Street earlier this year and exactly opposite the house is The Learning Works. We also have a bird’s eye view of Midland Met.  

“Of course, we’d heard of the world-renowned NHS and it was somewhere we’d hoped to work when we came to the UK.  

“So, it was by a stroke of luck that we moved into a street near the organisation and were supported by staff from the Learning Works.  

“I found it difficult to get help when we moved here especially as the application process is so different to India. At first, it was a vast and stormy journey for us because we have a small child and didn’t have any family here to help us out.  

“But it was a silver lining for us when we came into contact with The Learning Works.” 

Curious about the service, Lamiya decided to head over to the building to find out more about what they did, and she was delighted to discover they could offer both support.  

Murtaza added: “They helped to filter the relevant jobs for us, filtering them and giving us guidance on what would fit our skills. Once we’d worked out those we were applying for, the team supported us in writing an application, explaining what sort of information was needed.  

“This led onto interviews and again the team were on hand to help us. They organised mock interviews which were of great benefit to us.” 

The support received paid off and Murtaza is enjoying his new role, whilst wife Lamiya is thriving as a care navigator at the Your Health Partnership (YHP) GP practice Whiteheath Medical Centre, which is also run by the Trust.   

Lamiya, who is a trained chocolatier and ran a successful business in India, added: “The work is really interesting and I’m able to really engage with patients and offer them the support they need. My colleagues have welcomed me into the SWB family and I’ve never felt left out. They’ve shown me true kindness and compassion and are always on hand to answer my questions.  

“It’s a really enjoyable job and I have The Learning Works to thank for this. Ultimately it would be a dream for me to progress in my career within the organisation and one day work at the Midland Met when it opens.” 

Emma Dalton, Widening Participation Projects Manager at SWB NHS Trust, said: “Lamiya and Murtaza’s journey into employment into the Trust has been amazing to watch and support.  
“The Learning Works is here to provide opportunities to those who may not always have access to it and we’re so proud to have assisted both of them. 

“But their journey hasn’t ended. We will continue to work with them and assist when and where they need it, whether that’s progressing in their career here at the Trust, or developing their training skills.” 

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