Mentoring helps refugees prepare for UK workplace

A mentoring scheme set up by the Refugee Council has had an 80 per cent
success rate in placing refugees into jobs.

The programme plays an important role in providing refugees with advice and
support unit once they have finished vocational training at the Refugee
Council’s training and employment section.

Dr Augustine Stevens, the Refugee Council’s team leader for employment and
support, said the mentors help refugees find jobs by meeting with them for four
hours a month over a six-month period and giving them advice on interview
techniques, CVs and application forms.

Dr Stevens said, "It helps link the Refugee Council trainees with
individuals in the community who already have knowledge of the UK labour market
and experience of working within it. These mentors are a valuable source of
support."

The organisation needs more mentors to cope with the 300 trainees a year
that pass through its training programmes.

Employers who want to take part should call 020-7820 3000.

www.refugeecouncil.org.uk

By Ben Willmott

Refugees fill St Mungo’s skills gap

A housing association has helped meet skills shortages by recruiting
refugees.

The St Mungo’s Association, which is also London’s biggest single
homelessness agency, filled four administration posts with refugee staff
following a recruitment fair, which was run with Refugees Into Jobs.

Khurshid Alam, personnel manager at the St Mungo’s Association, said St
Mungo’s, which has a 500-strong workforce, plans to continue working with
Refugees into Jobs and hoped to be involved in similar events in the future.

He said, "It was a very successful initiative. We want to develop our
links with Refugees into Jobs through a partnership approach and we are hoping
to have a refugee here on a training placement in the future."

Refugees Into Jobs uses its skills database of nearly 2,000 refugees to
match applicants with employers’ requirements.

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