Two women looking at a phone

Businesses leaders, public and refugees pool knowledge to break down barriers for refugees

Our press release for the launch of the Refugee Employment Forum


Breaking Barriers

Share this

For one week only, Breaking Barriers, a specialist refugee employment charity, is launching an interactive online forum from June 17-23, coinciding with Refugee Week. This unique platform invites business leaders, the UK general public, and refugees to connect, share knowledge, and address employment challenges faced by refugees.

For refugees, who are four times more likely to be unemployed, this opens up the opportunity to learn valuable insights from anyone who works in the UK. And for business leaders, it means learning from refugees to create more inclusive and refugee-friendly workplaces.

As a specialist refugee employment charity, Breaking Barriers is in a unique position to see the challenges faced by both sides, and runs the Business Behind Refugees movement – a growing group of businesses from a diverse range of sectors who are united to improve the lives of refugees in the UK through meaningful employment.

Refugees often wait years to receive their refugee status, during which time most are not allowed to work. This leaves a big gap in their CV, which makes finding employment challenging.

Time out of the workplace is often piled on top of other barriers to employment. These can include refugees’ limited understanding of the UK job market or work culture, language differences, qualifications not being recognised in the UK, employer misunderstandings about refugee status, and even prejudice or discrimination.

Businesses also face challenges, many of which mirror those experienced by refugees. How to make sure that refugees are given the fair opportunity to explain gaps on their CVs and lack of work experience in the UK? How to support people of a refugee background to integrate into the company culture and thrive?

Ciara Devlin, CEO of Breaking Barriers said: “The value of connection and conversation can be life-changing. Creating space for refugees and business leaders to ask questions and learn from others is a powerful way to break down barriers and open up opportunities.

“That’s why, for Refugee Week, we’re running a refugee employment forum to bring together people from across the UK to support each other. If you are refugee and/or you have UK work experience, please take a few minutes to get involved. Your answers can help bring about individual and systemic change.”

While the forum is only live for one week, the Business Behind Refugees movement, run by Breaking Barriers, is on a long-term mission to improve the lives of refugees in the UK through meaningful employment.

The potential of businesses to hire and support refugees into meaningful employment is limitless. Companies like LinkedIn, Microsoft, Bank of America, Macquarie, Mayer Brown and BNY Mellon are united and helping in different ways, including volunteering, running workshops, creating work experience placements, hiring refugees for permanent roles, and sharing what they learn with other business who are part of the network.

You might be interested in...