Camden provides refugees with first step on job ladderOn 9 May 2001 in Personnel Today CamdenBorough Council is running an innovative work placement scheme to give refugeesthe chance to get relevant experience in the UK. The council, in partnership with London-based charity City ParochialFoundation, has offered refugees three six-month placements in financial andaccounting roles in its social services and chief executive departments. Jennifer Muhammad, Camden’s employment project officer and a member of theHR team, explained that the council’s involvement in the work placement schemesprang from its commitment to valuing diversity. She said, “This is an employment initiative which reflects thecommunity in which we live.” Statistics from the London Research centre back this up. Currently, an estimated240,000 to 280,000 refugees and asylum-seekers live in Greater London boroughs.However, Muhammad stresses that there is no guarantee of employment at theend of the placements. During the placements, the council provides training in telephone skills andgives careers advice to the refugees. Their travel and subsistence is paid and,due to their unemployed status, the refugees are still available for other workduring the scheme. Once the pilot scheme is completed, the HR team will present a report toCamden’s equalities committee to evaluate the success of the project. Muhammad said, “We will discuss the viability of the scheme and whetherwe can run it on a regular basis as part of our existing work experienceprogramme.” Camden looked at the refugees’ expectations before placing them on thescheme. “The feedback from the refugees indicates that they wanted to improvetheir communication skills and find out how an office runs in the UK comparedwith their home countries,” said Muhammad. An Industrial Society report, Turning Refugees into Employees, found thatone of the main employment obstacles facing refugees is gaining UK workexperience. www.camden.gov.ukBy Karen Higginbottom Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed.