Skilled refugees contributing £1m to UK economy each year
The UK government is encouraging businesses to use the Displaced Talent Mobility pilot to help at-risk people from around the world to help fill skills gaps.
Skilled refugees are contributing nearly £1 million each year in income tax and national insurance thanks to UK government pilot schemes to help those fleeing their homes find employment, helping to boost the UK economy and enabling businesses to access the vital skills they need.
Following a successful start, the government’s Displaced Talent Mobility Pilot has been extended for a further year, with more businesses being encouraged to hire skilled refugees while helping people rebuild their lives in the UK. First launched in October 2021, businesses ranging from renowned global companies to small enterprises have participated in the scheme, with refugees fulfilling roles as senior engineers, paralegals, construction managers, and software testing consultants in priority sectors.
The initiative aims to match up to 200 people with UK employment opportunities, with Syrian and Afghan nationals the most common beneficiaries of the scheme so far.
Delivered in partnership with Talent Beyond Boundaries, a global not-for-profit, displaced talent candidates are supported to get sponsored by a UK employer, and also benefit from free priority visa processing. To participate in the pilot, talented individuals will need to create a profile with Talent Beyond Boundaries and they will contact those who match the criteria for vacancies companies are looking to fill.
The pilot is also now being expanded, following an initial focus on candidates in Lebanon and Jordan, as well as Afghan nationals. Now refugees and displaced people of any nationality or location are eligible to benefit.
Minister for Immigration, Robert Jenrick, said:
Our Displaced Talent Mobility pilot is a safe and legal route that ensures refugees can rebuild their lives in the UK, contribute to society and integrate into local communities swiftly.
I encourage more companies to take part in the pilot and consider the skills and talent that exist, while providing opportunities for refugees to live independently and contribute to the UK.
The scheme uses the existing Skilled Worker route, which enabled the Home Office to set up the pilot quickly and better understand the barriers to accessing those routes for displaced people.
Marina Brizar, UK & Europe Director, Talent Beyond Boundaries said:
Talent Beyond Boundaries warmly welcomes the extension of the Displaced Talent Mobility pilot. This initiative embraces the power of equitable access to skilled migration by unlocking the potential of displaced people. We remain wholly committed to paving the path toward a world where the skills of displaced people know no borders and the opportunities for secure futures transcend barriers.
Phil Ogden, EnerMech Chief HR Officer said:
We understand the importance of a diverse, skilled and competent workforce and recognised the clear benefits of engaging with Talent Beyond Boundaries to support displaced people through providing secure employment opportunities.
We recently welcomed two Syrian refugees to our Engineering team in Aberdeen whose skills have already proven to be extremely valuable to EnerMech. As the energy transition ramps up in the UK, building an experienced pool of talent is essential to the ongoing success of our business. Talent Beyond Boundaries are key to supporting both our objectives and the aspirations of the talented people they represent.
Malek, from Syria and who was resettled in the UK under the Displaced Talent Mobility pilot, said:
Where I was, you don’t feel stability, you feel afraid. Here in the UK, from the first day, you feel safe.
If your business has a gap, the Displaced Talent Mobility Pilot is a great scheme. People who have moved to the country are committed and it is a good thing to have people from other places. This is because they have different experiences from the other work fields and because they have come from challenging places, they will do their best to prove themselves and be successful in their jobs and new lives.
Successes so far, include:
- the first Displaced Talent candidate was a Syrian national who arrived in the UK in 2021. They are now working as a specialist construction recruiter in the West Midlands
- in 2023, two Afghan women started roles as paralegals in Sheffield, and a Project Engineer began working for an engineering company in Aberdeen
- other individuals have started roles in the engineering, construction, and creative industries
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