Scottish Refugee Council to offer new programme for refugee integration and employment

4 September 2008

Scottish Refugee Council has been awarded a three-year contract for a new programme to help refugees in Scotland find employment and integrate into their communities.

The Refugee Integration and Employment Service, known as RIES, will focus on helping new refugees find work, as well as offering practical advice on English classes and other education needs and providing guidance and information on housing and volunteering opportunities. A mentoring service will also be available, giving refugees the opportunity to be matched with a volunteer mentor from the local community.

The programme - which will start in October and is funded by the UK Border Agency - is built on the successful Sunrise project, an integration scheme that was piloted in a number of areas, including Scotland, which Scottish Refugee Council previously delivered.

RIES will be available to those who have gone through the asylum process and been recognised as refugees under the 1951 UN Convention.

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 refugees into employment and education and to help them to rebuild their lives in safety in Scotland, for the benefit of the whole community.”

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.”

End

Notes to Editors:

  • 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 7927/07734030763