Since we began in 2001, DPIA has delivered over 21 successful projects. Here’s some information on just some of the projects that we have previously run…
AFGHAN RELOCATION SCHEME
In 2013 the UK government set up the Afghan Relocation Scheme. This scheme invited certain Afghan citizens who had been employed in dangerous roles for the British Armed Forces in Helmand to relocate and settle in the UK with their immediate family members (read more here).
From 2015-2016, DPIA provided these individuals with a four-month programme of support and orientation to integrate them into their new lives in Monmouthshire County Council (The only Welsh council to participate in the scheme). Among other support, we welcomed individuals at the airport, explained essentials such as how to use public transport or apply for a national insurance number. Importantly, we also advised these individuals on finding new employment.
In total we assisted 23 people and provided each with the necessary support to begin their new lives in the United Kingdom.
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION WALES
In 2015, we recognised a need to promote integration between refugees and the local community in Ely and Caerau. We got funding from Community Foundation In Wales to deliver a 6 month project in partnership with Action in Caerau and Ely (ACE), to bring refugees, asylum seekers and other people in the community together.
As part of this project we:
Quotes from Participants and Volunteers:
About English Classes and the Cooking group: “I love coming to classes. I look forward to them every week. My confidence with English has grown and I have cooked my food for 20 people!”
About the FAN group: “I enjoyed the morning! What a fantastic group of countries for one small group- England, Wales, Pakistan, Eritrea, Zambia, Poland and the Ukraine.”
COUNT ME IN
Count Me In was a project delivered in 2019-20. It was designed to help sanctuary seekers enter the UK workforce. DPIA are experts in employability, having run six projects between 2006 and 2020 – including Count Me In – dedicated to providing training and advice on getting ready for work.
What was the project?
Count Me In helped asylum seekers and refugees to gain essential employability skills such as getting information on jobs, writing target CVs, preparing covering letters, practicing interview techniques, and giving insight into jobs in other sectors. The project took place every Thursday in our Cardiff offices.
The project addressed multiple barriers preventing refugees in particular from integrating into the UK job market. As a result of receiving employability related support refugees became closer to finding jobs, helping them to better integrate into their communities and feel valued.
When was it set up and who paid for it?
Count Me In project began in March 2020. It was originally designed for the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme (VPRS) in West Gwent in August 2019. The funding for this part of the project was provided by West Gwent Local Authorities (Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen Councils) to support refugees accommodated under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme to develop core employability skills that are relevant to UK work context.
Our most recent employability skills project for asylum seekers and refugees in Cardiff and Vale was funded by HAU Third Sector Fund in 2019 and took place between November 2019 and January 2020.
What did it achieve?
The outcomes below summarize the CMI project’s impact on helping refugees to develop essential employability skills:
- 10 CVs created
- 14 service users completed employability essential online course with support from their case workers and interpreters.
- 1 service user received support with finding a volunteering placement
- 1 service user found employment
- 1 service user supported into self-employment
- 9 service users completed Food Safety and Hygiene for Catering online course
- 9 service users completed Awareness of Health and Safety at Work course.
“I can see how our service users learn so much information about how to move into employment in the UK from CMI which they were not previously aware of. This information is not always available to them from other sources because it can sometimes be assumed that the process of finding a job is the same everywhere, but this is not always the case. It is a great pleasure to prepare and fully equip refugees and asylum seekers in order to try to put them on an even footing with British citizens when trying to find work in the UK.”
Abigail Bennett (Employment Support Officer)
Michael attended our employability skills workshop in 2019 after recently arriving. As an Asylum seeker he had no right to work in the UK, but was keen to begin learning these skills.
He completed an employability essentials online course with our support. We then helped him to identify what he would need to put into a CV. We also registered him with Careers Wales and he then completed a questionnaire about the types of work which suit him to give him some guidance whilst applying for jobs.
Michael is a qualified chemical engineer in his home country. We applied to UK Naric to get a certificate of comparability for his qualifications from his home country.
When Michael was granted refugee status, found work as a cleaner in Excel London. This is now The London Nightingale Hospital, so he has now become a frontline worker.
“I want to thank you for your support, you really helped me. Now I have a nice place to live and I have a job. I am now working as a cleaner, but I will do this temporarily until I can secure something else.”
From 2010 to 2013, DPIA managed the Swansea City of Sanctuary Project through DFID funding. This project encouraged communities to provide better welcome through a better understanding of why people seek asylum, and listening to the voices of those who have.
Through our Swansea Refugee Awareness Speakers team, we:
By recruiting new speakers; delivering developmental training and helping with preparation for each event, DPIA helped the speakers team to gain in confidence and make their claim for acceptance in the community.
REFUGEE EMPLOYMENT PROJECT
A Big Lottery Funded project which:
ENGAGEMENT GATEWAY / ENGAGEMENT GATEWAY PHASE II /
REFUGEE ENGAGEMENT PROJECT
From 2013-14 DPIA delivered the Engagement Gateway Project, supporting unemployed and economically inactive refugees in Swansea to access education, volunteering and training through specialist advice and guidance. This project was funded by the European Social Fund and the Welsh Government through the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
The project delivered the following three key engagement activities for refugees living in Swansea:
1. One to one advice, guidance and support (using Action Planning Approach)
2. A Readiness for Work (RfW) training programme
3. Pathways to ‘Recognised Prior Learning’ (RPL)
SANCTUARY IN WALES
‘Sanctuary in Wales’ was a Big Lottery funded project coordinated by Oxfam. It brought together a partnership of organisations, including DPIA, whose aim was to help female asylum seekers and refugees access education, employment and training and to integrate successfully into their new communities. The project also engaged employers and service providers to inform and support them to improve accessibility for sanctuary seeking women. Community English classes and regular women-only drop-ins aimed to reduce isolation and help women build social networks and access support services. The project recognised the importance of English language skills and had provision to train women to become ESOL teachers. They could then use these new skills to support and enable their peers to improve and enhance their language skills. The project team offered advice on accessing these and other courses
with a view to improving and sustaining the livelihoods of the women who engaged with the project.
“Thank you for bringing interesting events to my life here, it has added aspiration in me, and gives me hope!” (Emily: asylum seeker)
“I have just completed a five week E.S.O.L teacher training course which was run by Oxfam together with Swansea University and it has given me some confidence to be able to do something with my life instead of just sitting around and feeling useless.” (Amina: asylum seeker)
“The Sanctuary in Wales programme is a great way to integrate refugees into everyday work places.” (Nicola: Manager, Boots, Newport)
Work placements “raise awareness of cultural issues affecting people living in our country and help them gain valuable experience.” (Amy: Manager, Boots, Newport)