Norwich refugee recruitment fair ‘breaks down barriers’ to work

The region’s Wellbeing and Work for Refugee Integration (WW4RI) project has hosted a recruitment Fair in Norwich to help break down barriers to refugee employment.

The event at The Forum saw a range of businesses and organisations first attended a training event to help them make employment opportunities more accessible to refugees.

Many of them then set up stalls, offering support, advice and job opportunities for refugees looking for work in Norfolk.

Louise Gooch, project manager for WW4RI project, said: “We know that getting into work is the best way for refugees to integrate and to lead successful and productive lives here in the UK.

“I would like to thank all those who attended the event – from the businesses running stalls to all the refugees looking for their next opportunity.

“It was wonderful to see so many people working together to help refugees find employment in the region.”

The WW4RI project, led by the region’s Strategic Migration Partnership, worked alongside Norfolk County Council’s People from Abroad team to set up the recruitment fair.

Among the organisations represented at the event were MENTA, Norfolk Care Careers, Globally Onward, Priory Healthcare, Contract Personnel, Gressingham Foods and Norfolk County Council.

Shaun Copeman, from Norfolk County Council’s Direct Payment Support Services, which provides support for people cared for at home, said: “Refugees are often perfect for this type of work, for care roles.

“Some of our clients need specialist support, but for most they just need someone to support them who cares.”

Lyz Stepanishyna, Employment Advisor at Suffolk Refugee Support, said: “There can be a lot of bias and misunderstanding about getting refugees into paid roles or work placements.

“This event is to understand there can be barriers for refugees getting into work, and that we can help provide the tools for them to help break down these barriers.

“It’s not just about identifying the problem, it’s about giving them suitable means to work.”

Tsegab moved to the UK 10 months ago from his home country of Eritrea.

He said: “I came to the event from Great Yarmouth because I am looking to find a job.

“The event was really good, I found much positive support from the stallholders.”

Photos from the event can be found here: East of England Strategic Migration Partnership recruitment fair | Flickr

For more information on the Strategic Migration Partnership’s WW4RI project, see here.