When I moved to England, it was obvious that there were jobs available for anyone willing to work and with right to work. The minimum wage jobs can cater for your basic needs and help you run a home efficiently if you know how to run a home on a budget and where to shop at affordable prices to save. You can even save small.

Another thing is that most of these easily accessible jobs are mostly unskilled, and you can start immediately. The induction for such jobs is usually in one day or for some 2 days to 1 week. For most people especially newcomers these sorts of jobs are enough to keep them going, some people even live on these types of jobs and make a career out of it.

But, one thing I can tell you from my experience is that these jobs are survival jobs, they may not be intellectually tasking but they are definitely physically draining.

Some of these jobs include but are not limited to picker and packers in logistics and warehouse, post office, care work, support work, bread production, cleaning, food processing and packaging etc.

I’ve had experience doing most of these jobs I listed above, and I can tell you there were not a walk in the park. The hours are long too, and you work for every hour you are signed into. Another thig is that most of these jobs treat the workers with less dignity that you’d expect from a western world workplace.

I have always known that my strength is not physical but mental, but being in a new country, I had to try out these jobs for two reasons, to know it feels and have firsthand experience, secondly, to make some Pounds because I was spending in Pounds and converting Naira to Pounds makes you realize that our Naira has very low value.

Anyway, after two months of which I have worked as in a big warehouse and logistics firm, worked in food processing making sandwiches, worked in bread production, a cleaner, a support worker, a care worker, I knew I had to get a job, where I must put my brain and skills to use and be treated the way I want to.

I don’t believe in whining, complaining, suffering, and smiling, no I believe in taking action to make my life what I want of it. So, I started applying for jobs in all job search websites including LinkedIn. I was getting, rejections, interviews, and no response to some of my application. I didn’t listen to anyone or naysayers that believe I was embarking on mission impossible. Well one day, I got an email for an interview for the organization I have always loved and admired those that work in the organization and the respect people have for them since I was in Nigeria. I studied like my life depended on it, because at that point in time my sanity really did depend on getting that job. I did get the job by God’s grace and I have thrived there while loving the work I do and the team I work with. It was a dream come true.

But between the time I got my first conditional offer and my start date it took almost 4 months, especially because there was a lot of documents I and checks that was to be done with my references, police check, DBS, certification of my current address and previous address for the last five years. I had no idea these were needed.

After I resumed my new job, I applied and got offer in another department and that job require my academic credentials, so I submitted it to HR, but it was rejected because it was a foreign degree. I was asked to get a statement of comparability (SoC). I had to apply for it before I was given a start date for this new position. If I knew this was going to be requested, I would have applied for SoC and had it handy. It would have made my wait time for my new post less.

This is why I decided to write about my experience and also let you know that this document is important if you want to work professionally in a skilled job in UK. This is like WES certificate verification for those that wants to live, study or work in Canada or US.

I had the misconception that UK will be lenient and generally accept Nigeria degree for work without further verification, but that is a not always true, I found out from my experience and research form the Uk.gov website.

I will explain what SoC is and who needs it.

A Statement of Comparability (SoC) is an officially recognized document that confirms the recognition of overseas academic, vocational and/or professional qualifications and the comparable level in the UK.

Who uses them?

Any individual coming to the UK to work, or study should really get a SoC.  It ensures that an individual’s qualifications are understood.  SoCs are a key tool in facilitating mobility.  The recognition given by UK ENIC helps assure quality associated with an award and safeguard standards. So this document is very important and should be considered an investment.

Below are some of the reasons why people apply for SoC.

  1. To enhance their applications and improve their chances for employment in the UK
  2. To have better career options (as in my case)
  3. To become a nurse
  4. To enhance faster entry for sixth-form college
  5. To make sure my degree was equivalent to UK degree, so that I don’t have to do another degree program
  6. To prove your academic qualification to a UK employer
  7. For study and use it for proof for other jobs
  8. For immigration to the UK especially if you are applying especially if applying for tier 1 or tier 2*

Where can they be used?

All sorts of organizations use UK ENIC’s assessments as part of their day-to-day work.  Universities, colleges, Blue Chip employers, immigration consultants, careers advisors and professional bodies all use the information and data we provide.  If an individual with qualifications from outside the UK is applying to any of these types of organization, then a SoC could be helpful.  It can also support applications made under the Points Based System for immigration to the UK*.

If you need more information about the Statement of Comparability can be found on their website here.

You can apply online and information about what documents you need to send are also explained on their website.

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