A young unemployed refugee and a Belgian elderly person in early retirement side by side two hours a week for six months. The odd couple, brought together by the association Duo for a Job, will relate to each other till the job seeker eventually lands an occupation, an internship or a traineeship in Belgium. A win - win partnership that can spur positive outcomes over two great challenges: migrant unemployment and active aging.
Indeed, writing a resume with a person with experience, properly practicing for an interview and having someone by your side who offers counselling in the job seeking process is a help that is very much needed. After all, the refugees who come here, do not rely on a network to seek opportunities. They have little or no knowledge of the job market, and most of the times they don’t carry papers that prove their academic qualifications. Making it alone is very hard to say the least. «Nevertheless» said Joulie Bodson, responsible for the mentoring project "the partnership will yield collateral effects such as crafting social, intergenerational and intercultural ties and cohesion. The investment cost for the local administration is zero".
Along the way, trust is built, friendship arises, and each encounter becomes a pleasure. No need to be an expert in anything. Each one contributes in his own way. Sometimes the situation is reversed, and in the end, you no longer know who supported whom. What an experience.
Duo for a Job, was established in November 2012 in Brussels upon the initiative of four professionals, also long-time friends. “By performing its mission” states the mission of the association “DUO for a JOB aims at reducing inequities in access to the labour market of immigrant youth in Brussels, valuing more our seniors, breaking with the segregation of ages, reinforcing ethnic diversity, encouraging intergenerational actions, and finally combating stereotypes and xenophobia by recreating social bonds”.
How does it work in practice?
After your registration, someone will contact the candidate to schedule an appointment to better identify the profile and expectations.
Following this interview, the prospective mentee will put you in contact with a mentor (within a month after the application). A DUO for a JOB employee will attend the first meeting between the mentor and the mentee, and will monitor the progress of the “duo” throughout the duration of the mentoring.
Cover photo: Duo for a Job facebook page