Too many refugees and asylum seekers are being kept from working, according to a new report

20 Dec 2001

A new report published by the Industrial Society argues that refugees and asylum seekers are being hampered from working, due to a combination of 'muddled' government policy, employers' ignorance and media-backed public prejudice.

According to the report, entitled A poor reception, refugees and asylum seekers: welfare or work?, an estimated 80% of asylum seekers are unemployed, despite having good skills.

Gill Sargeant, co-author of the report, says, "Asylum seekers and refugees in reality don't fit the popular stereotype as wasters and scroungers. It is a matter of national disgrace that nearly four out of five asylum seekers and refugees are being excluded from British workplaces".

The report calls for several policy changes which would help enable asylum seekers and refugees to work. This includes a call for a standard document giving asylum seekers permission to work; the Refugee Council believes this would significantly improve asylum seekers' basic access to the job market.

Download a copy of the A poor reception, refugees and asylum seekers: welfare or work?.

Further information

The Work Foundation (previously the Industrial Society) website

The Refugee Council and Personnel Today last month jointly undertook a survey into employers' attitudes towards refugees. The key finding of the report was that nine out of ten employers surveyed want to employ refugees to meet skills shortages, but are put off by red tape and fears of legal action. Find out more about the findings.

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