The aim of the LEADER DP was to improve the employment prospects of unemployed refugees in the UK through the provision of training, advice and guidance, mentoring support and work experience. Background
A key element of the project was the involvement of employers through awareness raising seminars and opportunities to work directly with refugees through mentoring and work placement schemes. Project partners also played a role in the development of a UK strategy for the integration of refugees by bringing together key stakeholders including policy makers, employers, refugees and refugee agencies. Objectives
The general objectives were to:
- provide general advice and guidance, as well as specialist assistance to refugees who wish to return to their chosen field.
- coach refugees who are seeking employment within the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as those who are seeking self-employment.
- address skill gaps faced by refugees and deliver customised training programmes to meet the needs of refugees and equip them with the necessary skills to be able to secure stable jobs
- develop and deliver programmes to educate and raise awareness of employers on the needs and potential of refugees
- pilot innovative ways of equipping refugee groups with English language skills they require
- test and promote mentoring and outreach schemes to promote employability
- provide an evidence base for the development of a systematic integration framework for refugees in the UK
- provide customised programmes to improve the employment prospects of refugee women.
The DP focused primarily on refugees in London. However, the DP also responded to the consequences of the dispersal programme which has scattered refugees to regions where services and support for refugees are less accessible.
The main areas of impact were:
- conducting networking and dissemination activities with policy makers and employers to develop and promote an integration strategy for refugees that can be shared at the UK level.
- working with UK professionals in the medical and teaching sectors and professional organisations such as the BMA, the Department of Health, and the Royal College of Nurses, and the Teacher Training Agency and Department for Education and Skills, to raise awareness on the lack of recognition of prior qualifications of refugee professionals as a barrier to employment
- conducting research and develop tools for the dissemination and mainstreaming of advice and guidance for refugees in the areas of education, training and employment.