I’m grateful that I got to come to this community. It’s getting better now. The pieces fall into place. With a permanent job at Draga, an engineering firm that offers a wide range of IT services and smart technology, Khaled is excited about the future. “It feels perfect. It would not have been possible without you, my Norwegian friends in Globale Sandefjord and NAV. I’m grateful that I got to come to this community.’ Khaled looks Elin Sørensen deep into her eye and smiles. The words come from the heart.

When he thinks back to all the cycling around to employers in Sandefjord to deliver a simple cv with three sentences in Norwegian, his face gets a more serious. He applied for jobs without receiving any response. No one called or got in touch. Now there are other times. Norwegian skills are in place. Khaled has settled in Norway and Sandefjord. It’s a big jump from that time to the present day.

He saw hope when Draga needed to fill some positions. Draga, was established in Stavanger in the wake of the oil crisis and has built a good reputation in the market. They are often looking for engineers in electrical, automation and IT (they require great IT knowledge). This time, Khaled made sure he joined the list of applicants.

The presentation video he recorded with the help of Globale Sandefjord in early summer was sent off. Ken Lie-Haugen, CEO of Draga, became curious about the Palestinian mechanical engineer who has been coordinator of the UN in Syria, and active in volunteering in Sandefjord since he came to Norway and Sandefjord two years ago. This background tells of a structured carer with great drive.

Ken wanted to have a chat with Khaled. He fell for his mindset. The result was a permanent job for Khaled, and broad smiles and great expectations from Ken and the rest of draga’s employees.

Khaled has applied to countless jobs over the past two years. As a single dad to two elementary schoolchildren, he hasn’t been the world’s most flexible applicant. He has limited opportunities to both business trip and work unorthodox working hours. The job search has gone slowly. Therefore, it was with his tail between his legs that he headed into Ken’s office on the very first day at Draga, and told him that he had received a call from school – his son was sick and had to be picked up.  Talk about bad luck. But Ken understood as a wise employers do. Today, Khaled is underway with his first major task. He will digitize documents (books, drawings and manuals) for large industrial installations.

“I have great faith in Khaled, I have challenged him to find smarter solutions as we always hunt smarter solutions. We have to be competitive in the market where there are a lot of people fighting for the jobs and prices are going down,” says Ken.

Draga is headquartered in Stavanger and has an office in Sandefjord. They are often looking for more engineers. Recruitment often goes through acquaintances. Other times, they put the ad out on Finn.no. They search for people from many different nations and have great diversity among employees.