Catch22 has today launched delivery of a new service to prepare refugees in London for work and life in England.
The Refugee Employability Programme is a UK Government funded initiative designed to support the successful integration of refugees in their new communities through sustainable work and help with developing their language skills, where necessary.
The service aims to close gaps in the employment rates between refugees and the wider UK population. Faster, more successful entry to the labour market has an economic benefit to the country and better enables refugees to build their life in a new community and improve the long-term prospects for themselves and their families.
The Refugee Employability Programme provides eligible refugees with an allocated Case Manager at Catch22 to assess their needs and work with them to develop a tailored plan of support.
Three key elements of support are provided by the service. Which elements a refugee receives will depend on how they have entered the UK and what other support they are already receiving.
Expert employment support from their Case Manager helps refugees to use their existing experience and skills to achieve a sustainable local job. Alternatively, help can be provided to develop new skills for work. The support offered includes help to identify how and where to job search in the UK, support with CV development, applications and interview practice, access to free skills training and work experience opportunities and funding for travel and job searching activities.
Alongside this employability support, refugees who require help with their language skills can access English Language classes, invitations to formal and informal conversation clubs and lesson to support literacy.
The third element of support provided by the service helps refugees to integrate and settle into their local communities by providing access to local community groups and services such as local healthcare provision, childcare options and housing support.
The service was developed in consultation with refugees and stakeholders in the refugee support sector, including Migrant Help and the International Organisation for Migration. A range of accessibility and translation support is available to aid participation in the service.
Commenting on the launch of the new service, Victoria Head, Strategic Director for Employability and Skills at Catch22 said:
“This is a hugely important programme that provides crucial support and well-being for people looking to rebuild their lives. We are committed to working alongside Reed in Partnership to deliver the Refugee Employability Programme, supporting more people to become work ready and helping them to thrive in their local communities.”