Award-winning campaign breaks down barriers

The Home Office is finally recognising the need to do more to
get refugees into work – following a sustained campaign by Personnel Today.

The magazine launched its Refugees in Employment Campaign in July 2001, urging
the Government to develop a co-ordinated strategy to promote the employment of

Our groundbreaking research a year ago showed there are skilled refugees
keen to work and employers want to recruit them to meet shortages – but there
are barriers that prevent their employment.

The aim of our Refugees in Employment Campaign has been to reduce these
barriers, and we have made our mark.

The Department of Work and Pensions is developing a strategy, and the Home
Office is moving towards developing a skills database – key aims of our

Furthermore, our role was recognised earlier this month at the Work
Foundation’s Worldwork Media Awards 2002. Personnel Today beat Channel 4 News
and the Daily Mail to win the Campaigner of the Year Award.

Many employers are still suffering skills shortages – despite the economic
downturn – and it seems the Government is at last recognising that refugees
could be a vital part of the solution.

Campaign aims

We want the Government to:

– Make a commitment to producing a standard permission to work document for
refugees and asylum seekers

– Act to reduce red tape preventing refugees who are entitled to work from
gaining employment

– Adopt a strategy to develop a skills database of refugees and asylum

– Produce concrete plans to co-ordinate the employment of refugees and
asylum seekers

Mike Broad Assistant Editor, Personnel Today

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