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Multi-Million Project to Help Refugees Plug Skills Gap

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A £4m project has been launched to help refugees into work and plug the widening UK skills gap.

Headed by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) the Progress-GB Partnership will involve work place learning for those already in employment, and help employers meet skills shortages by recruiting skilled staff from refugee communities.

Sue Waddington, Progress-GB Project Leader, said that NIACE had carried out skills audits which showed that many asylum seekers and refugees had skills that were in short supply in the UK.

It also found that new arrivals were either unable to gain employment or the jobs they found were well below their skills-capability.

She added: “We know that refugees are often highly skilled and highly motivated, but can find it very difficult to make progress in the UK work-place. These new resources mean that we will be able to develop new approaches to benefit both employers and refugees across the UK, by helping refugees into jobs, predominately where there is a current shortage of skilled workers.”

NIACE will be working with a number of partners including Birmingham University, Exeter CVS, Midland Refugee Council, the North East Consortia for Asylum and Refugee Support, the North of England Refugee Service and Ufi/learndirect on the Progress-GB Partnership.

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