Refugees, including individuals from Syria, Sudan, and Yemen, can now apply for a new government program to acquire the skills they need to enter the job market in the United Kingdom and lead independent lives, according to the official UK government portal.
The report from the British government portal stated that the new Refugee Employment Program launched by the government, worth £52 million, aims to overcome the barriers refugees face when integrating into local communities, including linguistic and cultural differences, and to accelerate their contribution to the UK economy. Afghans resettled in England under the ACRS and ARAP programs will also be eligible to apply for the program.
The report further stated that the program will run for two years and will provide enhanced support for refugees and Afghans through employment, English language training, and integration to build their confidence and skills to find work and secure better prospects for themselves and their families.
Through the new Refugee Employment Program, individuals will receive a personalized development plan designed according to their aspirations and personal circumstances. This will include skills courses, support in resume writing and job applications, work experience opportunities, enhanced English language training, including access to formal and informal classes, online learning, and conversation classes.
For those who are not already receiving integration support, the program will help them access public services, including general practitioners, job centers, local community groups, and mental health support. Doing so will assist vulnerable refugees in rebuilding their lives in the UK and put them on the path to self-sufficiency.
Additionally, eligible refugees have the right to work in the UK, access public services, and claim benefits, including Universal Credit.
Enhancing support for refugees
Robert Jenrick, the Minister for Immigration, said, “We want refugees and Afghans who have come to the UK lawfully and safely to have every opportunity to enter the world of work and contribute to our economy and society.”
He added, “Our new Refugee Employment Program works to enhance the support available to those who have come here safely and lawfully, providing them with the skills and knowledge they need to build a long-term and independent future for themselves and their integration into our communities.”
The report also noted that, in general, refugees are over 20% less likely to find employment compared to UK nationals, with this gap significantly widening for refugee women who are 30% less likely to find work. The government’s Refugee Employment Program aims to narrow this gap by providing individuals with the skills and experience they need to secure employment and contribute positively to society.
The program is open to all those granted refugee status in the UK or those given indefinite leave to remain through one of the government’s safe and lawful routes, including the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS), Afghan Citizens Resettlement Scheme (ACRS), Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP), Community Sponsorship, Mandate Refugee Resettlement, and family reunion.
It noted that the Refugee Employment Program was designed in consultation with refugees and organizations in the refugee support sector to complement the existing provisions already available to help refugees rebuild their lives in the UK. It builds on the significant support package the government has provided to assist resettled refugees and Afghans. including the Warm Welcome operation. created following the evacuation of Afghanistan to provide support for incoming Afghans. which included additional funding to enable them to access healthcare, increase rental support, and a portal where the public can offer housing and job opportunities, among other things.