Maximpact Wins Northern’s Support to Ease Refugees’ Integration
Accelerating into 2019 with prospects to help migrants integrate in English predominant environments, Maximpact recently received the Northern Ireland Government’s Department for the Economy’s support to run its Fast Track to Employment Programme for Syrian refugees.
Since the 2011 civil war in Syria, more than 250 000 lives were lost, putting the country at the core of the most internally displaced people and refugees in the world. After the SVPRS (Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme) was initiated in 2014, there is greater awareness around helping those seeking asylum. Providing a safe haven for Syrians wanting to restart their lives has now become a priority. For many immigrants, however, relocating to a new country, especially where a foreign language is predominant, can be daunting. Language and employment are key elements to achieving social and economic integration. Equipping migrants with the skills they need to flourish in these areas are important cornerstones in their new life journey.
The Fast Track to Employment Programme does exactly this by providing innovative online live English language training for Syrian refugees. Completed within a short timeframe, the tuition is complemented by job placements which provides on-the-job training that enable students to understand and communicate in English proficiently before they launch their careers.
Two recent pilot projects that focussed on developing refugees’ language proficiency (from pre-ESOL1 to level A22) stand testament to the programme’s success since its inception in 2018. The projects showed an 80 percent successful employment rate among students who improved their language skills over three months.
The Fast Track to Employment Programme’s next phase will start on 18 February and involve 14 Syrian refugees from Northern Ireland. The refugees that live in Downpatrick, Lisburn, Lurgan, Portadown and Enniskillen, will participate in two-hour long online live online tutoring three times a week.
The courses are led by experienced teachers and include online tuition for students who may not be able to attend classes on-site. Smart devices and technological assistance in students’ first language (Arabic) are provided during the course. Once students have completed the programme, Maximpact’s consultants liaise directly with recruiters and refugee support networks on the students’ behalf. Students are guided on CV drafting, prepped for interviews and assisted in setting up their IELTS (International English Language Testing System) online.
“We’re extremely honoured and excited to welcome the UK Department for the Economy into a process that is empowering refugees and migrants through confidence-building and stimulating learning spaces that will garner them ready for the next step into integration”, says Maximpact founder and CEO, Tom Holland.
“Since the programme is offered at no charge to applicants, the Department’s support has given us the opportunity to open the course to more individuals, a prospect that has major expansion potential as similar international role players come on board”, adds Holland.
While the programme’s main purpose is to ‘upskill’ migrants within a quick turn-around, Maximpact’s consultants also reach out to employers, advising them on useful hiring insights on refugee employment. Maximpact is in direct contact with respected employers including Bluebird Care UK, RGIS, Beannchor Group, Hastings Hotels and Novosco.
Learn how to get involved here.
- ESOL: An abbreviation for the teaching of English to learners and speakers whose first language is not English, but who are living in an English-speaking country. Therefore, Pre-ESOL, is the pre entry to building students’ confidence and ‘upskilling’ them before entering a full ESOL course.
Sources: Cambridge Dictionary; Skillsworkshop.org
- English level A2: Defined by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) as the elementary and next level to beginner language proficiency in English
Source: British Council