haysmacintyre partners with UK Ukraine Business Consortium

23rd May 2022

Since the conflict in Ukraine began, over 10 million people have been displaced. Business is keen to support access to employment opportunities and provide other help required to overcome any barriers that might prevent those fleeing the horrifying crisis from working.

100s of UK based employers want to support refugees to find suitable jobs and live independent, dignified lives. They are keen to offer language and resettlement support and jobs aware that English language and UK certification is vital to secure meaningful, long-term employment in the UK.

There is little to no support for refugees to gain employment that corresponds to skills and experience on arrival, so many newly arrived refugees end up in survival jobs. It is here where the initial focus is being placed. Ensuring refugees can find work commensurate with experience is vital.

Most skilled professions require intensive English language tuition and UK re-accreditation to practice, which usually involves undertaking exams and/or further training. This process is prohibitively expensive for those who have sought sanctuary in the UK.

As a result, we have Neurosurgeons are working as Care Assistants, Marine Engineers driving us in the back of their cabs and Lawyers are stacking supermarket shelves. RefuAid aims to change that, providing an innovative, practical, scalable and sustainable solutions to employment for refugees in the UK.

Without structured, professional English Language tuition and employment support those who’ve sought sanctuary in the UK are unable to gain meaningful employment and, as such, are unable to rebuild their lives.  Consequently, the UK labour market has an extremely high level of over qualification and underemployment among refugees. A 2017 study into Syrian refugees in Europe discovered a third were employed in either skilled work or professional services in Syria, yet 82% were unemployed in Europe.

haysmacintyre is excited to have come on board to support the roll out of RefuAid’s Business Consortium, sponsoring RefuAid clients to learn English language, recertify and receive resettlement support.

Jeremy Beard, Managing Partner, and Natasha Frangos, Head of Corporate, said:

“Following the tragic events in Ukraine, all of us at haysmacintyre are proud to be playing a part in supporting refugees resettling in the UK. We want to help ensure that all individuals who have had to leave their homes are able to source employment in the UK that matches their qualifications and experiences – it’s such an important cause and one that we are delighted to be supporting alongside so many other UK businesses.”

Emma Sinclair MBE, said:

“My father’s side of the family came from Ukraine, fleeing pogroms and persecution. It is not surprising – but very uplifting – to see how quickly business has stepped up to fill an urgent gap in light of the Ukrainian crisis. There is an overwhelming desire to help refugees resettle and have meaningful lives, finding employment commensurate with experience.

The slow, bureaucratic process to set up a life in the UK needs to be sped up. This launch initiative is the first step towards significantly accelerating the pace that the United Kingdom can do that – and do that better. A second large wave of supporters has been assembled and we will shortly be ready to expand the program further. I hope through this consortium that we are seeing the beginning of much needed blue print for how to help refugees arriving on our shores to lead dignified independent lives, for all our benefit.

Over the last 3 years, RefuAid have supported over 800 people with access to language tuition, finance, and employment. We’re keen to see that grow – and fast. RefuAid have watched as lawyers have requalified and secured legal roles within companies such as Credit Suisse, have seen a mother living in a homeless shelter with her two daughters requalify over 3 years and join the NHS as a consultant on a 6-figure salary. We want to speed that up, and allow them to help more people, whatever their country of origin.”

Anna Jones, CEO, RefuAid, said:

“Forced migration is one of the leading issues of our generation. Whilst governments must be called upon to provide safe and legal routes to sanctuary more support is needed to enable people to rebuild their lives in the new communities they find themselves. This consortium displays the amazing capacity businesses and the third sector have to create change by working together to support people and RefuAid are thrilled to be a part of it.”

Natasha Frangos

Partner, Head of Corporate
+44 20 7969 5663
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