• EDF Energy

    “I realised from our very first meeting the passion, expertise and proactive outlook .. takes to helping qualified refugees into full time employment. It is also clear that Transitions... is into the next stage of stakeholder engagement and that Transitions is making quite a remarkable impression on a range of stakeholders“

    Karen Elgy, Sustainability Performance Manager, EDF Energy
  • Crossrail

    “It is widely predicted that the UK will need more skilled engineers at both technician and graduate level. Transitions provides a credible source of engineers with the skills and experience to contribute to meeting this need. We encourage engineering companies to engage with Transitions to identify potential opportunities to meet their specific needs.“

    Bola Fatimilehin, Head of Diversity, Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Crossrail

    “Transitions provides an invaluable service for its highly-skilled refugee clients and KPMG has been delighted to run a series of employability skills workshops with them for teams of our volunteers. These have been insightful, impactful, rewarding and beneficial for all involved. A great way to put your skills to good use!“

    Corporate Responsibility Team, KPMG
  • National Grid

    "Transitions opens up an avenue for us to recruit a diverse graduate workforce. There's an option for recruiting to more experienced roles too. There's a real demand in the UK for highly skilled candidates in cables and tunnels and this presents a real alternative to find international people without the complexities around international recruitment."

    Sharon Goymer, Resourcing Manager, National Grid
  • Refugee Action Kingston

    "Transitions was able to identify a suitable candidate immediately and pass those details on. Our request was quite specific and only a short-term contract, so it did not attract a lot of general interest. without the use of the service, we may have been short of candidates. We recruited the Transitions candidate."

    Heather Knight, Project Manager, Refugee Action Kingston
  • Circle Housing

    “Demonstrating a clear commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility is an important component of being a modern, inclusive employer of choice. Working with Transitions really is a win win. Skill and talent are brought into your business that meet your business requirements. The team at Transitions have a rigorous matching service that makes it easy to support ready to work refugee professionals.”

    Jen Smith, Group Head of Diversity, Circle Housing Group
  • Crossrail

    "We gained a first-class civil engineer employee as a result of Transitions. The internship and intern was above our expectations.. The refugee community offers a good untapped market."

    Dawn Barker, Head of HR, Crossrail

did you know3

The 1951 UNHCR Refugee Convention enables a person to ask for safety from persecution from a signatory country. It has saved millions of lives. The UK is a signatory. No country has ever withdrawn from it.

An ‘asylum seeker’ may have their claim for safety refused.  If they are accepted, they are a ‘Refugee’. 

When an asylum seeker is given refugee protection they receive an email from the Home Office informing them of their status. It can be difficult for a refugee to know what to do next; at the moment there are very few resettlement services in the UK that help refugees navigate the labour market. 

Refugees in the UK have full permission to work. Many people in the UK, including employers, don’t realise this. It’s hard to find this information on the Home Office website.

The Refugee Integration & Employment Service was closed in 2011. The remaining refugee agencies are under-funded and under-staffed.

Refugees are treated as mainstream customers by Jobcentre Plus and are expected to find a job without specific support, despite the additional barriers they face.

Refugees have a refugee biometric residency card stating they can work and a National Insurance number. They don’t need a visa.

Around 25% of refugees in the UK are highly skilled. Many have had successful careers as engineers, finance and business professionals, lawyers and scientists.

The high number of barriers to finding work in the UK for refugees results in around 70% of refugees experiencing long-term unemployment.That’s around 6 times the national rate for the population as a whole.


Although many employers collect statistical data related to the gender, ethnicity and age (among other characteristics) of applicants, very few ask if an applicant is from a refugee background. This means that most employers are unaware that they are not hiring refugees. Having refugee background is not a protected characteristic in the Equality Act 2010.

Other agencies that support refugees can be found here.

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  A highly skilled refugee should rebuild their career for everyone’s benefit", Transitions Founder Sheila Heard speaks on Share Radio:

  Jon Hull, Group Head of Resourcing, Carillion Plc talks about inclusion of refugees in resourcing:

  Transitions services - Financial Services professional employed in London:

  Collaborating with other refugee supporting agencies - Louise Salmon RAGU London Met University: