When the first lockdown happened, many of us thought it would be a momentary pause to life as we know it, but as we approach the anniversary of the first lockdown, it is clear that the pandemic has had a lasting and long-term effect on all our lives.
Our latest report – One year later – The Impact of Covid-19 on refugees and people of refugee background in London has shown that many of our refugee clients are facing challenging situations right now, this includes the one in five refugees (17%) who are now unemployed because of the pandemic.
One year later is the follow up report to our first needs assessment published last June, and it highlights how a lack of digital access, digital literacy and uncertainty has impacted the opportunities, experiences, and support needs for people of refugee background.
The growing demand for digital skills has disproportionately affected people of refugee background who’s access to digital equipment and training remains significantly lower than the UK population.
In our survey conducted to assess the impact of Covid-19 on people of refugee background, results revealed 58% of survey respondents had access to a laptop and 37% of respondents report only having access to a mobile or smart phone, compared to 88% of UK households who have access to a home computer and 63% with access to a laptop.
For those in work, the uncertainty that’s arisen because of the pandemic has left many refugees feeling less secure and financially unstable, and those in keyworker roles have also experienced workplaces becoming more difficult.
With many refugees reporting how they don’t expect their needs to change any time soon, we believe it’s important for the refugee sector and those who support it to continue to adapt services to clients’ needs by providing relevant and high-quality support to address the barriers highlighted by the report.
This includes finding alternative entry routes and progression opportunities within the labour market for people of refugee background, who already face barriers, and identifying ways we can improve digital access and digital literacy.
You can read the One Year Later report by following the link at the top of the page, and you can also watch a recording of our webinar presenting the findings here.