Syrian Durham Continuing Education Student Finds Internship Success

Posted On Thursday February 18, 2021
Durham Continuing Education students Ahmad and Nour Safaf, shortly after they arrived in Canada from Syria.
Durham Continuing Education students Ahmad and Nour Safaf, shortly after they arrived in Canada from Syria.

Ahmad Safaf has an internship opportunity at the Durham Workforce Authority after completing the Durham Continuing Education program

Durham Continuing Education students Ahmad Safaf and his wife moved to Canada from Syria in November 2017. Upon arriving in Canada, they made it a point to improve their English skills and pursue careers, to help them start their new life in their new country. 

“Durham Continuing Education program was our first step when we arrived in Canada,” Safaf says. “The main reason was that English language is not our first language so we decided to enroll in this program to help us socialize and evolve in Canadian society.”

 Safaf started at a level 3/4 in English and in just over a year of hard work, he successfully made it to level 7/8. He was a political analyst in Syria, and he met Maureen Johnston, Counsellor/Placement Coordinator at DDSB while working on his studies in the Enhanced Language Training (ELT) course for internationally trained professionals.

“Students learn about Canadian workplace culture, job search strategies, resume writing, interview skills etc. They research employers where their skills would be best utilized,” Johnston explains. “They were kind, hard-working and even competitive with each other, pushing each other to work harder. They were a pleasure to teach and watch improve.” Safaf’s work ethic and comradery with his classmates was apparent when he was asked to speak during the closing ceremonies for the program.

Once Safaf completed the program, he was successful in achieving an 8-week internship with the Durham Workforce Authority (DWA). They were so impressed with his work, that they extended his contract to March 31.   

He says, “This program played a major role in breaking barriers and helped me in all areas including find job.”

Safaf plans to continue to improve his English skills and he is looking forward to his bright future. His dream is to represent Canada at the United Nations someday.