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European Year of Skills

Soheil's Journey: Bridging Skill Gaps for Success in the Dutch Labour Market

Soheil Hasini's remarkable story is a compelling example of the power of upskilling and reskilling to align one's capabilities with the changing demands of the European labour market. It brings out the core objectives of the European Year of Skills,

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Soheil is originally from Iran, but now lives and works in the Netherlands. When he left Iran, he had a bachelor's degree in electrotechnical engineering and had completed a web design course. However, as is often the case for refugees, Soheil's path to finding gainful employment in a new country was fraught with difficulties. After obtaining his resident permit, he began the daunting task of job hunting, only to discover that his skills did not match the demands of the local labour market, resulting in a significant skills gap. 

Faced with this mismatch, Soheil decided to seek a solution on his own. He began looking into educational opportunities and came across the "Make IT Work" programme, which was recommended to him by a friend. It proved to be the ideal avenue for upskilling and reskilling, addressing the specific gap in his skill set. 

Soheil recalls, “The programme ‘Make IT work’ was exactly what I was looking for.” 

Soheil attended an innovative event—an employers' market—prior to beginning the courses, where he could participate in interviews and discussions with prospective employers actively seeking individuals with the appropriate skill sets. Surprisingly, one of the employers recognised Soheil's potential and hired him before he even started his studies. This was a huge relief and a watershed moment for Soheil. 

Soheil believes that programmes like 'Make IT Work' have the potential to change people's lives, and he advocates for these opportunities to be more widely publicised, so that people in similar situations are aware of the transformative opportunities they provide. 

Soheil's story was told to a global audience at the European Year of Skills Festival on May 9, 2023, during the Year's official launch. His story is now being shared on the Year's website in the hope of inspiring as many people as possible to embark on their own journeys of upskilling and reskilling, breaking down barriers and forging brighter futures.