Refugee Council loses funding for vocational work

A change in government policy that means funding is no longer available for
work-based training for refugees has been slammed by the Refugee Council.

Training bodies had been able to apply to local authorities for grants to
run vocational training schemes for asylum-seekers to prepare them to step
straight into jobs when they gain refugee status.

But after the National Asylum Support Service replaced local authorities as
the body responsible for asylum-seekers’ housing and living costs, funding is
now only available for basic language and literacy initiatives.

As a result of the reorganisation, the Refugee Council, which runs courses
in IT, accountancy and health and social care, cannot get government funding
for future vocational training.

Fazil Kawani, the council’s communications director, said, "On average,
it takes well over a year for the Home Office to make just an initial decision
on status and the whole process of getting a final decision can take even
longer. It’s a waste of time if people can’t train for work while they are

A Home Office spokesman said the NASS has established a summer activity
project so that asylum-seekers can learn English and basic skills.

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