New Programme for Refugee Integration and Employment in Scotland

24 July 2008

A new programme to help refugees in Scotland gain employment and integrate successfully into the community will start in October. 

The UK Border Agency has announced that it has awarded a three year contract to provide these services to the Scottish Refugee Council. The programme will be available to those whose claim to be in need of international protection has been accepted.  It will be focused on helping refugees find employment, as this is recognised as one of the best ways of ensuring that they can integrate and make a contribution to their new home in Scotland.  Practical advice will also be given on English classes, and issues such as housing and education.

Phil Taylor, Regional Director of the UK Border Agency in Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “It is vitally important that those who have come to the UK and been recognised as needing our protection are helped to become part of their community  and make a contribution to the wider country.  We are providing the practical help to make this happen by awarding the contract to deliver these services to the Scottish Refugee Council (SRC).  We are already working with the SRC on a number of programmes and we are pleased that they will be helping to deliver on our aim to provide a fair and compassionate immigration service.”

John Wilkes, Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council, said:

“Amongst the refugee community in Scotland are doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, nurses – the type of skills Scotland is regularly calling out for.

We are delighted to have been awarded this contract to support these and all refugees into employment and education and to help them to rebuild their lives in safety in Scotland, for the benefit of the whole community.”

Note to Editors:

  • The integration scheme will be open to those who from October are accepted as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention.
  • An advice and support service will be offered, and a case manager will work with the service user to agree and review integration goals.
  • The employment advice service will focus on achieving job readiness and sustained employment.
  • A mentoring service will be offered, giving the opportunity for refugees to be matched with a volunteer mentor from the local community.
  • The service is built on the successful Sunrise project, an integration project that was piloted in a number of areas, including Scotland.
  • Scottish Refugee Council will be delivering these services in partnership with A4e and the Volunteer Centre, Glasgow.
  • The UK Border Agency was launched earlier this year, establishing a single force to protect our borders, control migration for the benefit of the country, prevent border tax fraud, smuggling and immigration crime and make quick and fair decisions on asylum claims.
  • Scottish Refugee Council is an independent charity which provides advice and information to asylum seekers and refugees living in Scotland. It also campaigns for fair treatment of refugees and asylum seekers and to raise awareness of refugee issues. www.scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk.
  • For more information, contact Aideen McLaughlin 0141 223 7927