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Rethinking refugees: assets and not liabilities

By Josh Evans, Bearwood Action for Refugees

What an incredible time at Rethink Refugee today: How do we change the story to say that refugees are assets and not liabilities?  Unique people with skills and creativity not just a burden on resources.

Josh writes that there were three key themes highlighted at the event:

– DEVELOPMENT: The approach that’s needed is a developmental one that creates the opportunity for aspiration to skilled and well paid jobs, with things like sector specific training, a strong effort to make the routes into good jobs accessible and support for this very entrepreneurial group of people

– LANGUAGE: As Fuad Mahamed, who arrived in the UK as a Refugee and is now the CEO of Ashley Community Housing,* said, “Intensive language training is critical” because it provides access jobs, friendship, services and a part in culture.

– COLLABORATION: This needs to be a team effort with all sectors and communities bringing what they can uniquely offer, whether that’s skills, a place for refugees to call home, sharing resources and learning or the chance to have a say in decisions that affect them.

*Ashley Community Housing are an award winning provider of social housing who settle over 600 people per year whose core principles are to help refugees become part of the communities that they live in, form strong relationships and access high quality jobs.