Making the most of a diverse workforce

Posted by Carol Owen UK poverty Communications Officer

9th May 2013

Teb at work in Boots, Newport

Oxfam Cymru and Displaced People in Action are offering South Wales employers free training on making the most of a workforce that offers high-level specialist skills and wide experience.

The workforce in question are refugees who have fled their home countries to seek sanctuary and a new life in Wales.

"Refugees are a diverse group of people who often have skilled and professional profiles in their country of origin - everything from finance to retail, business to academia and the trades.

"They also represent a highly motivated workforce, who once granted the right to work in the UK, are determined to make a positive contribution to Welsh life," says Ginger Wiegand of Displaced People in Action (DPIA), which provides advice and support for refugees seeking employment.

Despite their wide range of skills and experience, refugee employment levels fall well behind national averages. 

Victoria Goodban, who runs the Sanctuary in Wales Project for Oxfam Cymru, is partnering with DPIA to offer the free workshops in Cardiff, Newport and Swansea in May and June. She says:

"Our project, part of Oxfam's UK Poverty initiative, aims to support refugees and asylum seekers in Wales and get them ready for work. We want employers to know how much they have to gain from the fact that talented people have chosen to settle in Wales.

"Our training days will show employers how to make the most of the diverse skill pool of refugees living in Wales and find out how promoting diversity can enhance their business or organisation.

"They will get clear, practical guidance on right-to-work documents and Home Office requirements and hear first-hand from refugees working and seeking employment in Wales." 

The Sanctuary in Wales project is supported by the Big Lottery Fund Wales.

For more information, contact Caitlin Campbell at Oxfam Cymru: cacampbell@oxfam.org.uk / 0300 200 1269.

Blog post written by Carol Owen

UK poverty Communications Officer

More by Carol Owen