Gaining stable, fulfilling employment is a vital part of the successful resettlement of refugees, but it can be challenging due to factors such as language difficulties, and unrecognised qualifications. Help is now being sought from employers and mentors in the Sherborne area who may be able to help resettled Syrians get back into work.
The Syrians who have resettled in Dorset came to the UK with a wide range of work backgrounds, skills and experience. Former careers included teaching, catering, agricultural work, accountancy, nursing, mechanics, pastry cheffing and building. Whilst settling into the area, they have been attending language training and improving their English to help them find employment. Some have also been contributing to life in their local communities by volunteering – for example at a local hospital, a community leisure centre, and a town garden.
The UNHCR estimates there are 120,000 refugees in the UK, all of whom have the right to work in the UK, but says studies suggest the unemployment rate among this part of the population is at 18%, three times that of the UK-born population.
Philip Rogerson, Chair of Sherborne Area Refugee Support, and a volunteer with local families, says ‘We’d love to hear from local people who can offer some practical help. You may be able to offer employment support, for example by helping with CV writing, applying for jobs and preparing for interviews, or you may be a local employer who can offer mentoring support or work placements.’ All volunteers will need to have DBS checks. Anyone interested in helping should call 01935 389153 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.