A pilot scheme to help refugees find employment in sectors such as construction has seen those involved contribute nearly £1 million each year in income tax and national insurance, the UK Government has revealed.
Following a successful start in October 2021, the UK Government’s Displaced Talent Mobility Pilot has been extended for a further year – with refugees fulfilling roles such as senior engineers, paralegals, construction managers, and consultants with businesses ranging from global companies to small enterprises.
The initiative aims to match up to 200 people with UK employment opportunities, with Syrian and Afghan nationals the most common beneficiaries of the scheme so far. Delivered in partnership with Talent Beyond Boundaries, individuals create a profile on the not-for-profit organisation’s website and will see a list of vacancies at companies that have signed up to the initiative.
This year’s pilot is being expanded to refugees of any nationality or location, with it previously having an initial focus on Afghan nationals, as well as candidates from Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan.
Aberdeen-headquartered mechanical engineering firm, EnerMech, welcomed two refugees to their team. Phil Ogden, EnerMech chief HR officer, said, “We understand the importance of a diverse, skilled and competent workforce and recognised the clear benefits of engaging with Talent Beyond Boundaries to support displaced people through providing secure employment opportunities.
“We recently welcomed two Syrian refugees to our engineering team in Aberdeen whose skills have already proven to be extremely valuable to EnerMech. As the energy transition ramps up in the UK, building an experienced pool of talent is essential to the ongoing success of our business. Talent Beyond Boundaries are key to supporting both our objectives and the aspirations of the talented people they represent.”
UK Government minister for immigration, Robert Jenrick, added, “Our Displaced Talent Mobility pilot is a safe and legal route that ensures refugees can rebuild their lives in the UK, contribute to society and integrate into local communities swiftly.
“I encourage more companies to take part in the pilot and consider the skills and talent that exist, while providing opportunities for refugees to live independently and contribute to the UK.
“The scheme uses the existing skilled worker route, which enabled the home office to set up the pilot quickly and better understand the barriers to accessing those routes for displaced people.”