Maximpact’s Social Integration Programme for 295 Refugees in the UK

Maximpact has developed a programme to provide language and job placement opportunities to 295 refugees in four regions of the UK. In collaboration with East of England Local Government Association, ESOL Northern Ireland, Welsh Strategic Migration Partnership and Caritas Manchester Maximpact are looking to undertake to provide refugees with key language training as well as assist them in finding job placements.

The UK has resettled over 15 000 refugees under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) and this number is expected to rise to 20 000 refugees by 2020. Research has shown that language barriers are the biggest obstacles for refugees to overcome when integrating both socially and economically into their new communities, and it is for this reason that Maximpact has developed the programme.

The Honourable Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP wrote to the Maximpact team regarding the refugee programmes; “Over the past few years I have been following with interest the programmes that Maximpact have been developing to assist with the Syrian Resettlement Programme which has sought to address the many issues which Syrians and other migrants face in their journey to employment and social integration.”

The letter continues by noting “I have been very impressed by the dedication, hands-on approach and attention to detail which Maximpact harnesses in the delivery of these programmes. The organisation works very closely with the individual migrants and their families to establish close relationships which then help to gain a better understanding of what is required to support refugees and migrants with their integration successfully into local communities. The programmes which have been piloted in Northern Ireland have been very successful and I can foresee such an approach having the same positive impact in other regions of the UK. I am therefore delighted to endorse this application for funding and trust that it will be received favourably.

Accessible English Language Lessons

Many refugees find it difficult to attend traditional college English classes due to constraints on:

  • Transport time and costs
  • Childcare
  • Health and disabilities
  • Long waiting lists
  • Geographical location

Maximpact’s online course addresses these issues, granting more refugees and migrants access to English language lessons as soon as possible.

Of her experience of the course, Fatima (Class of Summer 2018) said the following; “It was very useful for my situation because I can’t go to college – and the reason is that I care for my daughter. So, this course was fantastic for me. I’d love to do another online English course if possible.”

Economic Integration and Employment

The Fast Track to Employment for Refugees and Migrants Programme will equip 295 refugees and migrants with English language skills for specific sectors, while also providing job opportunities in the same sectors through working with businesses who support the training and hiring of refugees. The aim of the programme is to help refugees enter the job market in the UK in the following four sectors:

  1. Hospitality
  2. Warehouse and distribution
  3. Retail
  4. Health and social care

The programme aims to address the following key barriers to employment:

  • Language learning barriers. Long waiting lists, geographical location, disabilities, pregnancy, and childcare and a “one size fits all approach” often means refugees have to wait a long time in order to start learning English.
  • Limited support in finding jobs and training. Maximpact’s programme includes coaching in résumé writing, interview skills and also assists in linking the refugees with work placement opportunities.

 The individualised support given to each refugee enables them to integrate into the job market more quickly and efficiently. One of the refugee employers, Dr. Bill Wolsey, OBE, from the Beannchor Group notes of his experience of hiring refugees through Maximpact’s programme; “We are very satisfied with the work Maximpact has completed to help refugees become job ready – facilitating hospitality organisations such as ours with job ready employees. Maximpact provides an excellent bridge between employers and employees.”.

Partner Collaboration

All the partners involved in this programme have extensive experience in working with refugees and migrants, and understand all the factors and elements involved. Each collaborator is responsible for different outcomes in order to make the programme a success:

  • East of England Local Government Association will provide face-to-face tuition and job opportunities to 45 refugees.
  • Welsh Local Government Association will coordinate and link with local authorities and employers.
  • Caritas will coordinate and provide access to refugees and migrants as well as access to their employer network. They will also provide on-the-ground support to the participants.
  • Maximpact will provide online live tuition through our online classroom as well as job opportunities to 250 participants. They will also provide an online tool for collecting refugee and migrant skill sets.

The East of England Local Government Association ESOL team and Maximpact will work together on designing the curricula.

Project Rollout

The Fast Track to Employment for Refugees and Migrants Programme is a 26-month project with 295 beneficiaries in total and targets the following number of refugees and migrants in four regions of the UK:

  • 165 participants from East of England (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire)
  • 34 participants from Midlands (Manchester)
  • 48 participants from Northern Ireland (Belfast, Ards, Downpatrick, Lisburn, Lurgan and Enniskillen)
  • 48 participants from Wales (Rhondda Cynon Taf/South Wales Valleys, Pembrokeshire, Newport/Monmouthshire, Ceredigion)

The first year of the programme will have 145 participants broken down into 16 groups, the second year will have 150 participants broken down into 16 groups, and the third year will be for evaluation and reporting.

The evaluation and reporting of the programme is an important component in determining the success of the programme. It will dictate the further use of online tuition as an effective means of skills instruction and integration for future refugee resettlement and migrant integration into rural communities in the UK.

What makes the Fast Track to Employment Programme unique?

The Fast Track to Employment Programme is unique in that it covers English language tuition for employment and social integration, mentors refugees and migrants into jobs with help in coaching them in résumé writing and accompanying them to interviews, and it also links them to job opportunities. It is tailor-made to individual needs and the ability to complete the course online makes it far more accessible and convenient for the participants. It also allows for the documentation and database creation of refugees and migrants’ skillsets, allowing the best-fit employment sectors to be identified.

If you are an organisation, foundation or philanthropist wishing to contribute towards the launch of the nation-wide programme , please contact us at [email protected]. Your organisation can help so many people to have a second chance at a safe, happy and successful life.

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