Gurmeet Hayer, a volunteer staff member at Surrey’s SEVA Thrift Store, with business attire that can be found on the racks there. (Submitted photo: Aziz Dhamani/PinkChai Media)


Surrey job-seekers get help in new ‘Interview Ready, Dress to Profession’ program

Moving Forward and SEVA agencies partner to give clients ‘much needed supports’ for employment

Two Surrey organizations have partnered to launch a new initiative to help people be better prepared for job interviews.

In a program called Interview Ready, Dress to Profession, eligible Moving Forward Family Services clients will receive professional attire and interview support from SEVA Thrift Store Society.

Entering or returning to the workforce can be a difficult task for some, and finding suitable attire can be challenging. The agencies hope the new program will address gaps in current employment services and reduce barriers in the job-seeking process.

Select clients of Moving Forward – those in lower socio-economic situations who are unemployed and have job interviews scheduled – will be sent to SEVA Thrift Store and given job-appropriate outfits and consultation to become interview-ready. Also, clients may receive “confidence coaching” from volunteer human-resources specialists.

The two agencies are dedicated to supporting Surrey’s diverse communities, said Gary Thandi, executive director of Moving Forward Family Services ( “I look forward to working with SEVA in providing our mutual clients much needed supports that may significantly improve their current life circumstances,” Thandi said.

• RELATED STORY, from Feb. 7: Statistics Canada says economy added 34,500 jobs in January, unemployment down.

Kiran Malli, president of SEVA Thrift Store Society, said the non-profit “is extremely excited” to launch the initiative with Moving Forward Family Services. “We recognize that unstable employment and low wages negatively impact our community because our community is only as strong as its most vulnerable citizens,” she said.

Moving Forward Family Services offers “counselling without walls” at #103-12827 76th Ave. in Newton, while SEVA Thrift Store ( is located at 9430 Scott Road.

Last September, SEVA operators announced a three-year donation of $60,000 to Surrey Hospital Foundation since 2016, when the shop opened as a charitable thrift store specializing in South Asian clothing.

• READ MORE: Surrey thrift store donates another $30,000 to hospital campaign.

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