London, UK, January 25, 2023 — As the partnership between the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Khalsa Aid International comes to a close this month, the IRC would like to reflect on the generous support of Khalsa Aid International who have provided funding for vital refugee integration services in the UK since July 2021.
The partnership was launched to build-upon the pre-existing RISE Programme (Refugee Integration in Southeast England), supporting activities such as cultural orientation, leadership training, community interpretation and peer mentorship training through match funding. The support from Khalsa Aid International also enabled the expansion of IRC’s services in the UK, particularly with the launch of specialist employment support for refugees.
Securing meaningful employment is a key pillar of integration and wellbeing for refugees. However, unfamiliarity with the UK job market and methods of searching, applying and interviewing for jobs, can create barriers for refugees seeking employment.
The six-week Job Readiness Training, initiated through the partnership between Khalsa Aid International and the IRC, covers every aspect of navigating employment in the UK, delivered through online workshops as well as tailored one-to-one coaching sessions from employment specialists. Coaching sessions offer personalised CV and cover-letter support, job research and application support, and mock interviews.
This support plays a crucial role in empowering refugees with the confidence and knowledge they need to enter into employment in the UK, which in turn enables them to integrate into their communities, practice language skills, and secure an independent and rewarding livelihood.
Through Khalsa Aid International’s support, and generous provision of £232,000 funding, the training has been offered to Afghan, Syrian and Ukrainian clients, and delivered in English, Arabic, Dari, Pashto and Ukrainian. With 66% of client receiving a job offer within 90 days of the course, it is clear that the partnership with Khalsa Aid has had a significant positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of refugees across the UK.
Oksana, a client from Ukraine who has taken part in Job Readiness Training, said:
“It [the IRC’s Employment readiness training] is really useful to me. We’ve studied how to prepare for interviews, how to create a cover letter and Dina (the IRC’s refugee employment specialist) gave us a lot of useful advice. Now I feel more confident than I was before. And I’ve already been on two interviews and I think that I am more or less successful!”
Chadia, a client from Syria who secured a job after taking part in Job Readiness Training, said:
“The RISE programme supported me a lot […] Dina (the IRC’s refugee employment specialist) helped me a lot with my CV, and when I applied for different jobs. I got this job because she helped me to change my CV. So, I think I was lucky because I worked with the IRC this time, they supported me a lot.
I feel very happy […] I have nice colleagues. They are very helpful and support me.”
Emery Igiraneza, Head of UK Programmes at the IRC, said:
“The partnership with Khalsa Aid International has played a crucial role in the development and success of IRC UK’s Job Readiness Training. This specialist support is key to empowering refugees with the knowledge and skills needed to secure rewarding employment in the UK, and thrive in their local communities.
It’s brilliant to see our clients grow in confidence, and go on to secure roles in a variety of sectors. We cannot thank Khalsa Aid International enough for supporting this vital work over the past two years.”
Ravi Singh, CEO of Khalsa Aid International, said:
“Since our inception, Khalsa Aid International has been instrumental in helping refugees globally. Through our partnership on the UK RISE Project, we were delighted to be able to expand on our work supporting refugees.
This partnership created an opportunity to tackle the social struggles and inequalities faced by refugees; it enabled integration by laying the foundations for a sustainable, independent, and rewarding livelihood which is what all people deserve.”
Khalsa Aid International is a U.K.-based humanitarian relief organisation providing support worldwide to victims of natural and man-made disasters. Founded in 1999 on the Sikh principle of recognising the whole human race as one, Khalsa Aid has provided crucial humanitarian aid to millions of people around the world through its Emergency Relief Projects and Global Development Programmes.