Erfan Nematollahi Haghighi was born and raised in Iran, coming to the UK as a fourteen-year-old refugee in 2017. By the time he joined Eastleigh College in September 2019, he had acquired limited English ability and had no real sense of what career he’d like to pursue in the future. Now he has obtained both a Level 2 Functional Skills qualification and a Level 2 certificate in Plumbing, with further goals to take on an apprenticeship and be part of the plumbing industry. All of this was made possible through his original SLUKY course.
Erfan had some initial reservations about the value of SLUKY as he wanted to jump straight to his Functional Skills and GCSE exams. However it soon became apparent that he had underestimated the benefits that SLUKY was bringing him. “I thought because my spoken English wasn’t too bad, I didn’t need to do SLUKY first", said Erfan. "But I hadn’t realised how weak my writing and reading abilities were and how much SLUKY could help me improve in these areas.”
While SLUKY is a full-time English course, it also encompasses maths, ICT and sport classes, with the aim of equipping learners with a range of personal skills that can help them live and work in the UK. It is catered to young refugees who are new to the UK, helping to open up further developmental opportunities such as vocational courses at the College, apprenticeships or university education.
“I thought because my spoken English wasn’t too bad, I didn’t need to do SLUKY first. But I hadn’t realised how weak my writing and reading abilities were and how much SLUKY could help me improve in these areas.”
Erfan noticed quick improvements in his English skills after joining SLUKY – by the time he had completed his studies, he was able to write emails and letters with ease; something he never imagined he would be able to do. He also gained a lot of confidence in his ability and has now completed Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications in both Functional Skills and Plumbing, having studied for both at the same time.
Now he is looking to branch out in his education and get some practical on-the-job training through an apprenticeship. He has developed a passion for plumbing and has developed a real sense of career direction for the future. “My advice to new SLUKY learners is to work hard,” said Erfan. “Good English skills are important in so many jobs and this course helped me gain the confidence to succeed in my Functional Skills and GCSE exams.”