Helping highly educated refugees find work is a win-win situation

A screaming labour shortage or not, a job is often not an option for highly qualified status holders. In 2020, for example, only 16 percent of the highly educated Syrian refugees had a job (compared to 81 percent of the highly educated Dutch).

One of those hopeful Syrians for whom finding a job within his field seemed hopeless is Ibraheem Jabr. The now 43-year-old lawyer fled the war to the Netherlands in 2016. After studying law, he worked for thirteen years as a legal advisor for various companies, including a large telecom company in the Syrian capital Damascus. In his last position as head of legal affairs, he managed fifteen people. However, despite his impressive CV and long service record, his attempts to work in the Netherlands as a lawyer, legal advisor or if need be as a legal assistant were unsuccessful.

Message on LinkedIn

Jabr is now working on his master's degree in international commercial law at Maastricht University. He posted a message on LinkedIn asking for an internship. It turned out to be a golden move: the municipality of Amsterdam had just started a project to prepare status holders with a legal background for a job in their field. Jabr was invited to participate, and the rest is history.

Read more on Intermediair (In Dutch)

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