Employers may be concerned about recruiting refugees. Concerns often relate to issues such as establishing refugees’ legal status and right to work, assessing overseas qualifications, and the refugee applicants’ levels of English language skills.
The Government has made changes to the Immigration Status Document, which in the case of refugees clearly states that the holder is entitled to work. Refugees are also now notified of their National Insurance numbers at the same time as their asylum decision.
Jobcentre Plus operates an Employer Engagement Strategy (EES), which aims to provide a high quality and consistent service to employers and to get customers into work, particularly those at a disadvantage in the labour market. The strategy gives clear messages about the benefits to employers of diversifying their workforces.
The Employability Forum meets regularly with employers to encourage refugee integration in the job market.
ROSE is an online information portal for refugee healthcare professionals, the agencies supporting them and employers. ROSE is the website of the Refugee Healthcare Professionals Programme which aims to take a coordinated and integrated approach to the delivery of services to support refugee healthcare professionals back into employment. The Refugee Healthcare Professionals Programme is made up of Building Bridges London, Building Bridges West Midlands, RETAS Leeds and Reache North West.
Employers must be careful not to be discriminatory in their recruitment practices. The UK Border Agency has published a Code of practice for employers on the avoidance of race discrimination in recruitment practice.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Statutory Code of Practice on Racial Equality in Employment (.PDF) is also important guidance on the recruitment and selection of staff.
The Breaking Through Programme run by the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, aims to support the development of a diverse leadership workforce. The Breaking Through Programme is aimed at those Black and minority ethnic staff with the talent and potential to move into senior leadership roles. The Programme offers the opportunity for individuals to develop personal development plans based on clear and objective diagnostic tools. It provides development activities which will support career planning and progression, develop leadership skills and capabilities, and provide the space to engage with and understand the issues facing Black and minority ethnic staff in the NHS.
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