Every day, people in our region decide to take action. They sign up for a course, follow a workshop or start a training. Here, you can read a number of real-life examples. This is how Samer, Simone, Deeqa, Tomas and Terrence are getting ready to face the future


They are ready to face the future


Deeqa has decided to change course and has enrolled for barber school.

Deega Abda Ali, who was born in Somalia, is choosing her own course. By starting barber school, she is determining her own future.

Deeqa: “I migrated from Somalia to the Netherlands when I was 16, because I wanted to flee the war in my homeland. I am currently a mother and house wife. My children are 19, 12 and 11 years old. I have had a troubled past and knew difficult times. But I have decided to be positive about the future. I am therefore taking my future into my own hands and will soon start at barber school.

It is hard to find a job without any education. That is why I depended on benefits for so long. I did work as a volunteer in my neighborhood however and regularly talk to my neighbors. But I really would like to work, contribute to society, meet other people. That is why I am really motivated to start barber school. I have always been interested in personal care and beauty, that is why barber school was the logical thing to do. Of course, going back to school will not be easy in combination with my family, but I am motivated and really look forward to this new step in life.

I would like to say to others that your past doesn’t have to define your future. It is never too late to change course. Just look at me!”

Tomas Beket

They are ready to face the future


Tomas is studying while working. He chose to combine study and work to actively build his personal future.

Tomas Beket: “7 years ago I started working as an operator for Huijbregts Groep. I followed the Allround Food Operator study program at the ‘Groene Campus’ in Helmond; an education through day release (in Dutch: Beroeps Begeleidende Leerweg – BBL). It enabled me to carry on studying while working. After I completed the course, I continued to develop my skills within the company. And now, I am working as a Teamleader Quality Control and I am managing 5 colleagues within my department. In addition, I supervise several interns who are following various study programs in the area of food and quality.

I always dreamt of working with foods and I wanted to fulfill that dream. I have completed a cooking school, but soon found that the hospitality business just was not for me. That is why I started looking for other ways to make a living out of my passion. It lead me to Huijbregts Groep, a company that mixes powered raw materials for the foods industry. Huijbregts Groep gives people like me the opportunity to learn and develop themselves. I am proud of what I have achieved thus far! It proves that when you really want something and you are motivated and willing to work hard to achieve your goal, you will be rewarded accordingly.

For me, the future is all about developing, learning and growing. That is why I am also currently studying, at the Huijbregts Groep’s business school. My advice? Look into ways of learning that suit you best. By combining work and study, you will also be able to advance your career. And: if you are really willing to learn, you can learn from any one, whether they are highly skilled or low-skilled professionals, managers or supporting staff.”

Simone den Uijl

They are ready to face the future


Simone continues to expand her horizon

She is ready to face the future, because she continues to enhance her personal development and is actively committed to improve the lives of people who suffer from dementia. Technology can help her in achieving this goal.

Simone den Uijl: “For me it is only natural that I want to keep on learning, since life is a continuous learning experience. I am therefore actively trying to develop myself. By continously trying to expand my horizons, by staying positive and by focussing on my social life and the people close to me. I also continuously try to advance my professional career. Together with my partner, I have started a day care center for (young) people who suffer from dementia and I am founder of the 2109 foundation (Dutch only), a foundation that is committed to improve the lives of people with dementia. We have developed a pin for people with dementia to wear. So that other people can immediately see that this person might need some extra help, because he or she is suffering from dementia. It is my personal mission to increase acceptance of dementia.

To get ready for the future, I stay informed of new developments within my area of expertise. We actively use technology to achieve our goal, but technology is not a goal in itself. For example, in the day care center, we use music to connect with people. In the past, that used to be quite a hassle with CDs and tapes, but now we fortunately have YouTube and Spotify. We also continuously try to improve the foundation. We are currently working on a pin with GPS tracker. I know from my work with people with dementia that the future isn’t always what you expect it to be. The number of people with dementia is only increasing the coming years. That is why we must do everything possible to ensure that these people are able to live independently for as long as possible, that they are part of society and that they are able to have a pleasant life.”

Samer Khamis

They are ready to face the future


Samer is gradually developing himself. He is motivating others to do the same.

Samer Khamis: “I have been living in the Netherlands for 19 years. When I moved to Brabant in 2015, I really wanted to start working. However, I had a hard time finding a job because of my shoulder, which I hurt during an accident. That is why I started as a volunteer. I worked as an interpreter and guide for Arabic-speaking migrants who just arrived in the Netherlands. I gradually enhanced my personal development. I am currently working as an overseer for Senzer within the department that focusses on maintenance of green areas. Many of the boys in my team are asylum status holders. I coach them and motivate them to continuously develop themselves. For example, when we are maintaining private gardens, I let them talk to the owner of the garden. They are afraid to speak Dutch, but it is very instructive. In addition to learning the language, they need to widen their network to allow them to feel more at home in the neighborhood. I have never been afraid to speak Dutch or to ask for help if I didn’t understand something. It enabled me to learn fast. I have a positive mindset and have a good relationship with the people in my neigborhood. What others can learn from my story? Never be afraid! Dare to speak the language. Dare to ask if you have trouble understanding something. And start working as a volunteer to gain experience before trying to get a paid job. Because you will also be able to develop yourself by taking small steps.”

Terrence de Vries

They are ready to face the future


Terrence is working as a teacher and he notices that lifelong development is something people both within and outside school are pursuing.

Terrence de Vries: “Education is changing and that is a good thing. In addition to general educational subjects, young people are being taught more and more skills, which are needed to be able to face the changing future. Such as resilience, cooperation and flexibility. Futhermore, you see that the educational and business sector are converging, which is also a positive development. When working for Brainport, we for example organized the (Dutch Tech Week) Autotech event. During this event, primary school pupils learn about the automotive and technology sector. I also continue to challenge and develop myself on a personal level. Next to my job as a teacher, I also worked for Brainport and I found that by combining those two jobs, I was able to perform better. I used my knowledge as a teacher when working for Brainport and at school I benefitted from the experience I gained while working within the industry. Both employers and employees benefit from lifelong development. A famous quote, which I completely agree with, is ‘Do not ask yourself what will happen if your employees continuously develop their skills and leave. Ask yourself what will happen if they don’t and stay’. I therefore suggest others the following: do not stand still, but continue to be curious about ways to keep on growing.