In July Personnel Today launched a campaign, Refugees in Employment, whichaimed to help employers fill skills shortages by tapping into the skills andcapabilities of refugees and asylum-seekers who have been granted permission towork in the UK. If the campaign were successful, there would be gains for both sides.Refugees would be better able to find appropriate work and employers in certainsectors and in areas of high employment would be able to fill vacancies. This week, a survey by Personnel Today and the Refugee Council shows thatnine out of 10 of the companies that responded are willing to take on refugeesor asylum-seekers. HR managers in sectors including hotels, transport,manufacturing and the voluntary sector see this group as the answer to labourshortages and skills problems, but they are frustrated by the barriers theyface. Despite the demand for their skills, the survey shows that 60 per cent ofthe refugees who responded have been unemployed for more than a year. A key concern is that the documentation given to refugees to show they areentitled to work in the UK is off-putting and leaves employers with the fearthat they could be open to prosecution under asylum and immigration law. Early next year Home Secretary David Blunkett will be launching a WhitePaper which will introduce changes to the way asylum-seekers are dealt with inthe UK. Part of this will be proposals to help those with UK residence rightsto integrate into local communities. Personnel Today hopes the minister will take on board the findings of thissurvey and the aims of the Refugees in Employment campaign when drafting thewhite paper. The survey proves that employers want to recruit refugees and asylum seekers– now the Government must act to remove the barriers preventing them from doingso. Previous Article Next Article Government must act to help refugees into jobsOn 20 Nov 2001 in Personnel Today Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.