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Challenges faced by refugee professionals in the UK, and potential solutions.

As part of the Transitions registration process candidates are asked to complete an application form. A recent application included the candidate’s thoughts on the challenges faced by refugee professionals in the UK, and possible solutions. With the candidate’s permission an extract is below. This candidate, originally from Syria, is a finance professional with many years’ experience, including working for the UN.

UK qualifications

Most jobs, if not all of them, require UK qualification and don’t consider NARIC Assessment or UNESCO listings. It cost too much time and money to start with UK qualification journey while increasing the career gap, which is already long through the Home Office’s asylum seeking process. Professional refugees are in a loop; most recruitment disregard job applications consequently. In addition there is no support to study for UK qualifications, no grants or 3 year residency exceptions when it comes to PCDL or 24+ loans. Therefore, from my point of view professional refugees are suffering more than other refugees who found a room for growth and integration in the UK. 

The solution could be in exemptions & a special fund for professional refugees who really want to add value and give back in the UK as a new home and society.

The Media 

The media is giving negative impressions unfortunately, especially in its headlines or first page.  No one can ignore the influence on the recruiting managers mentality or how it could put them in a dilemma.

The solution could be part of integration program through practical training scheme for professional refugees.

Integration and belonging to the group.

Most recruiters don’t recruit new comers as they think that they may not have relevant UK experience of communicate properly in the team or may not feel that they belong to the group, while the concept of creating sustainable competitive advantage in business depends on diversity, creativity, global vision, and thinking outside the box. Therefore, those multinationals or international organizations who really adopt such concept have had very good chance in penetrating any new business or social market easily and shifting rivals out of it, through acquiring diversified human capital. 

The solution for that, again, is in networking and integration programs where local business people or none for profit organizations and charities principals can be available and involved to communicate with professional refugees and to have a chance to benefit from the ever changing environment. In fact that may give them a step ahead in competition and responding to the market or social needs rather waiting for the big giants in the world to drive the change. On the other hand this is mutual benefit where the weaknesses of professional refugees can be converted into strengths. HK, Transitions candidate.




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