London, United Kingdom, September 18, 2023 — The International Rescue Committee (IRC), in partnership with World Jewish Relief and The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN), is delighted to announce the launch of the Refugee Employability Programme (REP) funded by the UK Government, in the South West region of England. This new initiative will provide vital support and services to refugees settling in the area to help prepare them for work and life in their new communities across Bristol, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Wiltshire, Cornwall, Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Plymouth, Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset, Swindon, Torbay, Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
We know that when refugees are welcomed, they can thrive. Yet many refugees still face significant challenges as they rebuild their lives after arriving safely in the UK. Finding a job, getting an education, learning the language and accessing basic services such as the NHS can all be challenging. The REP programme is here to help with that, working with over 700 refugees who have overcome tremendous difficulties to resettle in their new communities in the Southwest.
The launch of the programme builds upon the IRC’s offerings in other regions of the UK, where the organisation has supported over 800 refugees, providing integration, employment, leadership and mentoring courses. The programme also draws upon the expertise of partner organisations World Jewish Relief and The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN); World Jewish Relief is the largest provider of specialist employment support to refugees in the UK, and will this year provide support to more than 10,000 refugees through its Specialist Training and Employment Programmes (STEP). TERN, founded in 2016, run online entrepreneurship programmes and services accessible to refugees across the UK, supporting them to thrive through the power of their own ideas.
The Refugee Employability Programme offers one-to-one support and tailored employment action plans with the help of employment and integration advisors. Support includes help with job searches, CV and cover letter writing and interview preparation. Participants will also have the opportunity to develop their understanding of the UK job market, through work experience and volunteering.
In addition, the programme provides English language support, in the form of language classes and literacy lessons, as well as informal conversation clubs giving people the opportunity to practice their newly developed skills. The REP programme will also support refugees through their integration into local communities, connecting them with vital services, such as healthcare, childcare, and community groups.
The support offered by the Refugee Employability Programme will play a vital role in empowering refugees based across the South West of England with the confidence and knowledge they need to secure jobs, improve language skills and integrate into their communities.
Genevieve Caston, Director of UK RAI at the IRC, said,
“We are thrilled to announce this new programme, in partnership with World Jewish Relief, and The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network to support refugees and asylum seekers to successfully integrate and thrive in communities across South West England.
By breaking down employment barriers, building critical language skills, and equipping participants with the knowledge to navigate life in the UK, we can empower refugees to fully participate in the workforce and their local communities.
With the right support refugees can secure independent and rewarding livelihoods, and thrive in local communities. In turn, this allows the local community to benefit from the diverse strengths and contributions of new arrivals.”
Paul Anticoni, CEO of World Jewish Relief, said,
“Since launching our specialist training and employment programmes nearly a decade ago, we’ve worked with thousands of refugees in the UK, supporting them to develop essential skills and qualifications to improve their integration into the UK. We know this can make a vast difference to people’s lives. Fortunately, this new partnership will enable hundreds more people in the South West to benefit, and we’re excited to be working alongside the IRC and TERN to deliver this vital programme.”
Charlie Fraser, Partnerships & Strategy Director at TERN, said,
"This exciting new partnership will enable us to provide holistic support to newcomers from refugee backgrounds in the South West. We look forward to connecting aspiring entrepreneurs with our range of pre-incubation and incubation programmes, which will enable them to explore routes to sustainable self employment through entrepreneurship."
The Refugee Employability Programme is currently accepting applications. To find out more information, see who is eligible to take part and submit an application, please see: https://www.rescue.org/uk/repsw
Note to Editors
About the IRC: The International Rescue Committee helps people affected by humanitarian crises—including the climate crisis—to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. Founded at the call of Albert Einstein in 1933, the IRC is now at work in over 40 crisis-affected countries as well as communities throughout Europe and the Americas. In the UK, the IRC provides expert integration and employment support to refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants living in the UK from Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq, Sudan and beyond.
Learn more at: www.rescue.org/uk and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.
About World Jewish Relief: World Jewish Relief is the Jewish community's humanitarian agency. Founded in 1933 and proud to have rescued over 65,000 Jews fleeing the Nazis, World Jewish Relief today supports vulnerable people from marginalised communities, suffering the consequences of conflict and disaster to survive and thrive.
We work in 18 disaster affected countries and in towns and cities across the UK. From conflict stricken eastern Ukraine to Afghan refugees in Bradford, and from climate migrants in Nepal to young women in Rwanda, our impact is simultaneously global and local.
Learn more at: www.worldjewishrelief.org
About TERN: TERN is an ambitious social enterprise and ever-growing community on a mission to enable refugees to thrive through the power of their own ideas. TERN helps refugees become entrepreneurs, launch businesses and take control of their own futures, and has supported over 400 refugee founders since 2016. Alongside its experienced volunteer community of over 300 industry experts, entrepreneurs and consultants, TERN's goal is to launch 2,000 refugee-led businesses by 2025.
Learn more at: https://wearetern.org/