RefuAid is launching a Refugee Access Loan Scheme designed specifically to help refugees fund the licensing and training they need to secure employment in their profession or trade so that they can gain independence. The programme will provide zero interest loans to enable refugees to gain the accreditation they need to transfer their skills to the UK, enabling them to fulfil their potential as citizens and participate fully in our community.
The Need: It’s no secret that having escaped war and persecution and years of uncertainty in refugee camps, those granted asylum in the UK face a whole new journey of challenges. Work and a sense of purpose are one of the single most important needs of refugee communities, yet this is a key gap in services provided by the UK. Within the UK labour market there is a high level of over-qualification among immigrants, 60% of male immigrants are well qualified (at least Level 4) but only 30% work in high skill jobs. A refugee integration study found that more than one-half of refugees in employment felt that they were over-qualified for their jobs. Reasons for such high levels of job-education mismatch amongst immigrant populations in the United Kingdom are largely attributed to costly accreditation and licensing requirements by professional associations. Higher qualification costs and lack of credit history and/or relevant employment limits settled asylum-seekers and forces them to settle for low-paid, survival jobs that are far below their capabilities. The skills that go to waste here are multiple, contributions lost that would greatly benefit the British economy. Resettled refugees often have incredible attributes of resilience and creativity that are an asset to any community, profession or business.
Once asylum is granted in the UK the need for refugees to find survival jobs is enormous as government support is withdrawn after 28 days of asylum being granted. Although still entitled to social security payments, the paperwork and bureaucracy means it often takes many months for payments to be made.
The RefuAid 'Refugee Access Loan' will fashion an enabling environment for people who are seeking asylum in the UK to develop their competencies, exercise their rights and meaningfully engage as active citizens.
Why this is so important: The Refugee Access Loan will have a positive impact on host communities in addition to changing the lives of those receiving the loan. Skilled migrants in the workforce influence productivity and its drivers such as investment, innovation and entrepreneurship. Skilled migrants may act as a production complementarity in firms or teams, and/or offer network externalities through diasporas or other forms of co-ethnic group. In addition, resettled refugees often have incredible attributes of resilience and creativity that are an asset to any community, profession or business.
The Refugee Access Loan will allow resettled refugees to make the greatest possible contribution to the UK economy and enable them to participate fully in their community as they move from working in survival jobs to doing what they do best.
How: RefuAid will provide and administer micro loans of up to £10,000 to internationally trained refugees in order to assist them in obtaining UK accreditation, upgrading, or training that will allow them to return to employment in their pre- immigration professional and trade fields. This micro-loan programme is designed specifically to help refugees fund the licensing and training they need to secure employment in their profession or trade and then achieve independence as they pay their loan back.
The RefuAid Refugee Access Loan Scheme responds to an immediate and growing need for skills in the UK and will catalyse refugee integration into society by addressing the UK's key gap in services for immigrants.
If you wish to express your interest in the scheme or find out more information, please contact us. For questions about donating, or to discuss how you or your organisation can help, please contact Tamsyn Brewster on
007766 764000 or Tamsyn@refuaid.org
Street (UK) CIC in partnership with RefuAidStreet (UK) CIC - Co. No. 3832332 Authorised and Regulated by the FCA - No. 673046
Street (UK) Services Ltd - Co. No. 5300289 VAT Registration No. 826497101Registered in England - Registered Offices: Metro Building, 50 Cliveland Street, Birmingham, B19 3SH