Employment and Support for Refugees

Could you provide employment or other support services for refugees?

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Can you offer welcoming support for refugees?

The war in Ukraine and the ensuing refugee crisis has focused people’s minds on what can be done to support all refugees from around the world that come to the UK seeking sanctuary.

Businesses can be at the forefront of efforts to support people in dire straits, including through:

  • employment opportunities (work, CV support, interview skills etc.)
  • the provision of mental health and wellbeing services (children and adults)
  • the provision of translation/interpretation support
  • donations in Welcome Packs for Ukrainian refugees

Therefore, we are asking businesses in Buckinghamshire: what help can you provide for refugees who come to the county?

Please take a moment to fill out this quick online form, explaining what support you may be able to provide to refugees.

Hiring refugees – what you need to know

The Home Office has introduced visa schemes - the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine scheme - to support Ukrainian nationals, and their family members, to come to the UK.

Those who are granted a visa under these schemes are able to work, rent a home, and access benefits and public services, such as medical treatment and education. Both schemes are fee free and do not include salary or language requirements for applicants.

Checking Ukrainian nationals' right to work in the UK

Read the government guidance on how to check a Ukrainian national's right to work in the UK.

This includes those who do not have a valid Ukrainian passport, and those who do.

How to check whether someone has the right to work in the UK

Businesses can employ any person who has been granted refugee status, in the same way they can anyone else with the right to work in the UK.  

When an individual is granted refugee status, they are issued with a biometric residence permit (BRP), which grants the individual the right to work, run a business, and more.

Employers are required to check a refugee's biometric residence permit and complete an online ‘right to work’ check.

The Tent Partnership for Refugees has compiled a practical toolkit for UK employers who are interested in hiring refugees but don’t know where to start.

The UK Employers’ Guide to Hiring Refugees contains essential information related to refugee recruitment and employment, including:

  • The business benefits of hiring refugees
  • Best practices for recruiting refugee employees
  • Common barriers – and solutions – to refugee hiring and integration
  • Case studies from companies hiring refugees in the UK
  • Information on refugee populations in the United Kingdom

Download the guide here >

Employers can work with the Refugee Council to design a training programme that meets their employment needs and helps to embed refugees into their business to enable the best possible outcomes.

Learn more about these refugee employment partnerships >

NARIC UK can help employers compare international qualifications from over 200 countries with the equivalent levels of UK qualifications, and help to authenticate these qualifications.

How to support refugees

The Refugee Council works with employers to help refugees find work and apply their many skills and experiences to UK businesses.

Their team of expert employment advisers work closely with refugees to develop an achievable plan to get them into work, including employment-preparation workshops, help with CVs and interview techniques, work experience opportunities and more.

Learn more on their website, or contact them via the below details:

Wycombe Refugees is a charity that people can get involved with, including to help refugees put together a good CV, look for jobs and help them apply.

Learn how to get involved here >

The website jobsforukraine.net is collating academic, scientific, arts, professional and freelance work opportunities that are currently available for people fleeing war.

Companies can advertise their vacancies here >

Those able to provide work or other assistance for the arts community affected by war in Ukraine can do so here >

University/research institutions and labs with open positions for Ukrainian scientists/researchers can post them here >

We are working closely with Buckinghamshire Council and partners to support refugees who are finding a home in the county.

Are you planning to act as a host for a Ukrainian individual or family, via the 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme?

Can we at Buckinghamshire Business First help you find a job for your guest when the time is right?

If so, contact John Browning, Workforce Skills Manager, via John.Browning@BucksSkillsHub.org or on 01296 798774.

City of Sanctuary UK is a support network for refugees across the country. As they explain: "Hosting is a significant commitment, and we urge people to properly reflect on their ability to take on such a responsibility."

They list some practical questions people can ask themselves before undertaking to house refugees, concerning finances, housing, practicalities and emotional support.

Citizens Advice also provides information on hosting Ukrainian refugees.

Facts and figures about refugees, asylum seekers and migration

The UN's Refugee Agency, the UNHCR, outlines some of the key facts and figures relating to refugees and asylum seekers in the UK.