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Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Farhana Darwich West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Farhana Darwich West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Farhana Darwich West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership

2 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce West Midlands Strategic Migration Partnership is 1 of 11 Strategic Migration Partnerships across the UK Core funded by the UK Border Agency to oversee dispersal of asylum seekers, and integration of refugees and migrants Work with local authorities, Government Departments, and Voluntary & Community Organisations to achieve objectives

3 Our work includes: Supporting refugees and migrants to be more aware of their own rights and entitlements in the UK Gathering regional data and monitor and evaluate the impact of policies and influence policy decisions at a national level We identtify and seek to address gaps in resources and service provision Ensure relevant organisations are aware of the needs of asylum seekers, unsuccessful asylum seekers, new refugees and vulnerable migrants Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce

4 Different categories of migrants have different rights and entitlements in the UK Regulations including tough penalties and high fines for employing undocumented migrant workers can make employers fearful of recruiting certain categories of migrants Definitions: Economic Migrant – people who have moved legally from one country to another – includes EU migrants and people applying through the Points Based System (PBS) Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce

5 Asylum Seeker: - an asylum seeker is a person who has arrived in the UK after fleeing their homeland, and exercised their legal right to apply for asylum to the UK Border Agency Refugee: Refugee status is granted to a person who has had a positive decision on their claim for asylum under the UN Convention on Refugees and has been granted leave to remain in the UK Economic Migrants, depending on their immigration status in the UK, may share some issues with refugees and asylum seekers in terms of language barriers, lack of access to services and education, unemployment and destitution. Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce

6 Entitlement to work Points Based System – depends upon an employer sponsoring an employee during their time in the UK, and obtaining a sponsor license. More info at oints/quick-guides-pbs/ oints/quick-guides-pbs/ A8 Country Nationals – no restrictions imposed, but Worker Registration Scheme introduced as a transitional measure to regulate labour market access.

7 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce A2 Country Nationals (Romania & Bulgaria) - are subject to the Worker Authorisation Scheme. They must obtain an Accession Worker Card before starting work in the UK or will be working illegally. The person must have a job offer to qualify for the Card. For both A8 and A2 nationals, if they have been authorized and working without interruption for 12 months they will normally gain full worker rights. After this period, they will no longer have to register on the various schemes

8 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Asylum Seekers do not have a legal right to work in the UK but can apply to the UKBA if waiting for longer than 6 months to receive an initial decision on their asylum claim Refugees have no restrictions in accessing the UK labour market

9 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Numbers of people claiming asylum in the UK – around a year for Dispersed across the UK on a ‘no-choice’ basis May take from a few weeks to several years for a final decision to be reached on the asylum claim 20-25% of people granted some form of leave to remain, 70-80% refused

10 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce The countries of origin for asylum seekers include: Zimbabwe Islamic Republic of Iran Pakistan Sri Lanka China Iraq Somalia Afghanistan Eritrea

11 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Those who are not granted refugee status are granted either Humanitarian Protection / Discretionary Leave to Remain Using the term ‘refugee’ to include all of the above – documentation given is the same but states type of status as well as length of leave. Case Resolution Programme – a programme to deal with the backlog of cases for people who applied for asylum prior to March Applicants granted Indefinite Leave to Remain to date.

12 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Research shows refugees are highly motivated to find employment in the UK and to make a positive contribution at work. In surveys undertaken year on year, the outcomes consistently show that over 90% of refugees express a strong desire to work, or to undertake training/studying which may lead to work

13 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Some of the key barriers that refugees face in gaining employment No UK work experience Qualifications in the home country not being recognised here Poor English Language skills Large ‘black hole’ in a CV for the period where as an asylum seeker they were not permitted to work Not understanding how the job market works in the UK Difficulty in writing a CV or application form ‘personal statement’ to ‘sell’ themselves to an employer due to poor English language skills Lacking confidence in an interview situation again in part due to language related issues Refugees are willing to work! They originate from countries with no support systems Very few initiatives that support refugees into employment/relevant training

14 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce Part of the recruitment process for any job applicants includes document checks A refugee (unless applied for British Citizenship) will not have a UK passport However, upon gaining leave to remain in the UK, refugees will be issued with either an Immigration Service Document (ISD), a Home Office letter, or a Travel Document. Each of these documents will state: –The length of leave in the UK, Indefinite leave or limited as well as –Indicating the Status of the individual, HP/DL/Refugee status If any of the above documents state that the length of leave granted in the UK is time limited, i.e. 2 years/3years, then a check will need to be made on the individual every 12 months until they are granted indefinite leave. Employer must retain a copy of all relevant documents to show checks have been made In addition to the documents mentioned, as with recruiting a UK national, an official document providing the individuals permanent NI number will also be required (as with any other employee) If in doubt, use the UKBA Employers Helpline –

15 Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce ‘Those who have been granted refugee status, or have been allowed to remain exceptionally on humanitarian grounds, will have no restriction on the type of work that they can do, whilst the leave remains valid’

16 Contact details: Tel: Understanding and Benefiting from a Diverse Workforce


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