The number of migrant and refugee crises is increasing across the globe. In turn, understanding and preparing to hire migrants and refugees as a significant portion of your workforce is an imminent reality in the UK.

How is the term ‘refugee’ defined?

Generally speaking, a refugee is someone that has been displaced, removed or who has fled their home country and cannot return for fear of their own or their family’s safety. As such, they are unlikely to have a stable foothold in the UK, like an established employment network, making offering them an employment opportunity essential to their integration.  

This is pertinent in how a quarter of homeless people in the UK are believed to be refugees or asylum seekers. In turn, not only is offering stable employment to a refugee a drastic contributor for improving their lives but comes with a range of benefits for your company. 

Supporting refugees with employment – What you need to know

Experience diversity

As discussed in our pages on improving EDI and developing inclusivity, it is essential to have a diverse set of experiences throughout your employees. This is because, when discussing the need for change and increased inclusivity it is difficult for one employee to conceptualise the challenges each protected characteristic faces without first-person examples.  

As such, being able to include the experiences of refugees, migrants or asylum seekers to any discussions about equality, diversity and inclusion will help expand the perspectives of the rest of your employees. In turn, they will be more open to accept and encourage change and greater inclusion from their colleagues.  

This is essential for successfully developing an inclusive company culture as inclusivity cannot be imposed from above but has to be understood and partaken in by all employees. 

Dedication

Giving someone with as many negative and traumatising experiences as a refugee a stable and quality employment opportunity is highly likely to develop a dedicated employee with a high work ethic. As unfortunate as it is, they know first-hand the alternative should they lose their position with you. 

Furthermore, many refugees who are given an opportunity such as this will be exceptionally grateful, considering they will likely not have the accreditations or references that are standard for those who have previously worked in the UK. 

Skills gaps

Accepting a group of diverse workers into your employ is likely to expand the diverse selection of skills available to you. Given the major issues surrounding skills gaps in the UK, having a greater selection of skills is only going to be beneficial.  

Furthermore, with a refugee’s increased incentive to hold onto the role, many are likely to also be open to taking on further training. Often, refugees have a diverse skillset of languages, allowing your company to expand its consumer base to other regions abroad.  

Loyalty

Not only do studies suggest that a refugee is more dedicated than a regular employee, but they are less likely to leave the job. Given that staff turnover is one of the most significant wastes of company expenses in the UK, solving that issue could significantly decrease your annual running costs.  

Furthermore, when your current employees witness giving opportunities to people in dire need, such as refugees, they are more likely to perceive the company as being socially responsible and of caring about their staff. In turn, hiring refugees discourages other members of staff from leaving, further improving your staff retention rate.