New measures set to help more refugees into work

New measures set to help more refugees into work

Thursday, May 2, 2019

New guidelines to help firms employ more refugees are being issued in a bid to help them integrate in the UK and contribute to the economy.

A report said refugees are underrepresented in the workforce, missing an opportunity to contribute to economic growth.

Employers were urged to recognise experience and qualifications from overseas, offer English language workplace training, as well as training in workplace culture.

Refugees want to become self-supporting and contribute to their new communities, said the report, which was written by a number of organisations including the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

"There is huge capacity for refugees to contribute to the UK economy, either by better leveraging the skills they already have or helping them add new skills," said Rossella Pagliuchi-Lor, UNHCR's UK Representative.

"There really is untapped potential here that could be a boon for the local economy, and at the same time a powerful vehicle for better integration."

UNHCR estimated there are 120,000 refugees in the UK, from a range of nationalities and backgrounds, but they struggle to get a job.

A recent study found that the unemployment rate of those who came to the UK as refugees, is 18 per cent, well above the rate for the UK-born population.

Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said: "The UK is committed to supporting refugees as they rebuild their lives here, including with opportunities in the workplace.

"Employing refugees can bring great benefits to businesses, individuals and communities. These practical guidelines highlight the crucial role for the private sector, in partnership with government and others, in helping refugees across the country find work."

Nicola Inge from Business in the Community, which backs the new guidelines, said they will help more employers discover the benefits or hiring refugees.

Rain Newton-Smith, the CBI's chief economist, said: "The number of refugees has risen dramatically in recent years. Yet many of those displaced are prevented from using their skills to contribute to the countries hosting them.

"Allowing asylum seekers and refugees to become economically active is not only good for community cohesion and integration; much more than that, it's the right thing to do."

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