Yorkshire pilot scheme helps refugees into jobs

A scheme that will provide skilled refugees with a detailed employment file
to help them to secure jobs is being developed by the Yorkshire and Humberside
Asylum Consortium.

Under the scheme refugees will be helped to compile a personal portfolio to show
potential employers.

It will contain details of qualifications gained in their home country,
courses attended while in the UK, permission to work and possibly a reference
from their accommodation provider.

Liz Westmorland, asylum services manager for Yorkshire and Humberside Asylum
Consortium, hopes the initiative will help address local skills shortages.

She said, "Generally, there tends to be a high proportion of
professional people who seek and get refugee status. By and large they rarely
get a job to match their earlier skills and qualifications. They generally end
up going into levels of work below their experience and qualifications from
their home countries."

The pilot scheme will begin in late autumn and refugees will be responsible
for collating and presenting information appropriate for their employment. The
blank portfolios will be kept by accommodation providers and distributed as
part of the induction pack.

The portfolio is likely to be a folder, but it could be developed
electronically and may also include health records.

Paul Cosgrove, senior personnel officer for Rotherham Metropolitan Borough
Council, welcomed the initiative.

He said, "Such an initiative would streamline the process and make it
more feasible for employers, including local authorities, to open up
opportunities to all members of the community including those asylum-seekers
who are able to work.


By Katie Hawkins

Minister studies aims of Personnel Today

Home Office immigration minister Lord Rooker has told Personnel Today that
he is keen to study the aims of the Refugees in Employment campaign in more
detail and will give the magazine his full response.

The minister was responding to the magazine’s open letter sent to him last
week which set out our four campaign goals. He has promised to give Personnel Today
a full interview in the next month.

"The minister has received the letter and is keen to study the
campaign’s aims in more detail and give it his full and considered
response," said a spokesman for his office.

If you have questions for the minister or comments on our campaign,
e-mail: personneltoday@rbi.co.uk
Fax: 020-8652 8805 Post: Personnel Today, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton,
Surrey SM2 5AS

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