The International Rescue Committee UK is working with the NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board to strengthen the local workforces of health and social care providers. By supporting the work readiness of refugees and other newcomers, IRC aims to diversify the talent pool of local recruiters, bringing fresh perspectives and skills to these workplaces.  


As well as our ongoing commitment to work collaboratively with the partners of the Integrated Care Board, voluntary and community groups and local authorities, IRC is keen to work in partnership with health and social care providers to find great staff, including those in the private sector. We can offer free advice and guidance on widening the talent pool and retaining a diverse workforce. We welcome partners in the following areas:  

  • North Cumbria (Cumberland and Westmorland and Furness) 
  • Northumberland
  • Newcastle 
  • North Tyneside
  • Gateshead 
  • South Tyneside
  • Sunderland 
  • Durham 
  • Darlington 
  • Hartlepool 
  • Stockton on Tees 
  • Middlesbrough
  • Redcar and Cleveland

Specialist Knowledge 

Our support for refugees, as well as asylum seekers with the right to work, will build on our existing Economic Empowerment programmes. Candidates will be equipped with knowledge about the health and social care sector, its on-the-job demands as well as how to navigate job search and application processes. Alongside our comprehensive employability course, we also offer a contextualised English language course and tailored 1:1 coaching for each participant, with support continuing after gaining employment. 

Interested to know more?  

Interested refugee candidates in the region can self-refer to the programme here. We also welcome referrals from local authorities and colleagues in Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise organisations. Applications are currently only open to candidates with Entry Level 3 English or higher. 

Health and social care employers and others can get in touch with our Economic Empowerment team for more information at [email protected]  

Find out more about our other employment support services for refugees here.

Our impact


of clients receiving employment support from the IRC have reached an employment goal of receiving a job offer, being promoted, starting a volunteer placement or enrolling on a vocational training course.

The IRC provides Job Readiness Training to refugees who are keen to start their careers in the UK. The course covers every aspect of employment in the UK, from how to write a CV and cover letter to interview techniques.


Educators reached since our Healing Classrooms programme launched in May 2022.

The Healing Classrooms programme offers free training to educators on how to offer children a safe and predictable place to learn and cope with the consequences of conflict and displacement.


of Ukrainian clients who’ve completed the IRC's Cultural Orientation for Newcomers have improved their knowledge of how to access local services in the UK.

In Cultural Orientation for Newcomers, the IRC skills refugees with the knowledge they need to navigate their new community and beyond. We also work with local communities to help them be better equipped to support the integration of local refugees.