Cutting red tape is key to getting refugees to workOn 13 Jan 2004 in Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article The Government must invest in reorganisation, slash red tape and overhaultraining in the public sector if a new strategy on refugee employment is tosucceed, according to the Employability Forum (EF). The Department of Work and Pensions is preparing to release its first majorrefugee employment strategy, Working to Rebuild Lives, this April. This willrequire the involvement of the job centre network, employers, further educationcolleges and voluntary organisations. But the EF, which promotes the skills and experience of refugees in the UK,fears it will not have the necessary impact if crackdowns on illegal workingcontinue to outweigh the practical steps to get refugees into employment. Jonathan Duke-Evans, head of the social policy unit at the Home OfficeImmigration and Nationality Directorate, agreed the department concentrated toomuch on the change from immigrant to refugee status and needed to start”getting on with it”. Patrick Wintour, director of the EF, said staff working for public bodieswould require continual training to help refugees. “If the Department of Work and Pensions plans to implement thisstrategy, then job centres need to be involved,” he said. “But staffturnover is very high, so how can you train staff to be aware of issues facingrefugees?” Wintour said refugees required a “bewildering range of documentaryevidence” to make it clear that permission to work has been granted. Hesaid this should be replaced by a simple, robust document to prove refugees arelegal workers. Personnel Today has been campaigning for a coherent refugee strategy for thepast two years. By Michael Millar Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos.