Select Committee on Education and Employment Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Annex 1

CURRENT UNEMPLOYMENT LEVELS AMONG REFUGEES [AND ASYLUM SEEKERS WITH PERMISSION TO WORK]

The Settlement of Refugees in Britain; Carey-Wood, Duke, Karn and Marshall HO 141 (1995).

    —  About 73 per cent of the sample were unemployed at the time of the study yet generally well-qualified;

    —  only 14 per cent had been regularly earning for the most of their time in this country;

    —  their unemployment rate was far above even ethnic minorities in the inner city area;

    —  many were underemployed;

    —  over 1/2 those who had obtained professional qualifications in England were still unemployed;

    —  of those employed 23 per cent had a temporary position;

    —  94 per cent had encountered difficulties when applying for jobs;

    —  only 6 per cent had been steadily employed, after an initial short period of unemployment;

    —  only 8 per cent felt they had progressed in their careers.

TES/RC ESTIMATE

  Refugee communities have between 60 per cent and 95 per cent unemployment rates.

  Refugee Skills Analyst (North London TEC 1997).

  Found 73 per cent of respondents unemployed; and 85 per cent had never succeeded in getting employment in the UK.

  Developments to Assist Refugees and Asylum Seekers Towards Earlier Self-Sufficiency. A Report for Refugee Action (MBA. December 1997).

  Focusing on new arrivals to complement the Home Office research found at least 75 per cent of refugees and asylum seekers unemployed after two years, a high level of underemployment and a concentration of employment in ethnically specific businesses eg restaurants, mini-cabbing and interpreting.

  Labour market information for the Objective 3 ESF programme in London (DT PIEDA Consulting in 1998) found:

    —  Possibly 160,000 unemployed refugees in London.

    —  Rate of unemployment of Rs thought to be at least twice that of ethnic minorities in general.

REFUGEE ACTION PAPER. AUTUMN 1998

  Vietnamese. After 15 years still 75 per cent of unemployment in spite of extensive community development programme and cluster settlement.

  Chileans. Better employment outcomes probably linked to education level and job background on arrival, planned arrivals, efforts by Joint Working Group funded by Home Office, efforts of Chilean Solidarity Campaign, special reception team, Advice Team with Regional Resettlement Officers, one year MSC language course plus job training etc. But even so, according to WUS, four years on, 59 per cent unemployed.

SOMALI COMMUNITY IN TOWER HAMLETS. A REPORT PREPARED FOR THE EAST LONDON SOMALI CONSORTIUM (CSC. SEPTEMBER 1998)

  Found [details].

REFUGEE SKILLS NET PROJECT. (LRC) FOR PEABODY TRUST. (1998)

  Found [details].

  The evidence is compelling but insufficiently soundly based. The most authoritative and widely used are the Home Office figures but they are seriously out of date and likely to be an underestimate because they applied to settled refugees only, many of them professionally qualified. And there is every reason to think the situation has got worse since restrictions on employment were introduced. Other figures are either estimates or based on small and arguably unrepresentative samples.

  There is also a good deal of evidence on underemployment; refugees with casual employment, part time jobs and jobs way below their capacity, experience and skills. Some of this, in common with others in the UK, is inevitable; in some cases a low level job will be a necessary step to a better one. But in others the underemployment is the result of unnecessary obstacles which could be surmounted eg by facilitating the recognition of qualifications and or requalification.


 
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