support person at computer with headset on

ELATT’s WWL Refugee Employment Event as part of #RefugeeWeek2020

On 19th June ELATT, Action West London, Train 2 Work and GOSAD hosted the annual Working West London Employer Event, online for the first time. The two-hour event included a workshop and panel discussion about Refugee Employment.

Over 30 attendees joined the webinar, which kicked off with an introduction from Mohammed, a participant from Sudan who previously worked in Law before coming to the UK. ELATT helped with his UCAS application and he’s just finished his second year at University to become a lawyer in the UK.

Musharaf and Catalina from Action West London delivered an inspiring presentation on the topic of ‘The Job Market Post Lockdown’, packed with helpful advice about which sectors are still hiring throughout the Coronavirus pandemic. Tips included those interested in customer service could look for roles as Social Distancing Ambassadors, and that sectors such as logistics, couriers and care are all busy hiring to meet increased demand. Musharaf highlighted that to be successful in the current job market, you need to stand out, and gave practical advice including: online training via providers such as ELATT and Action West London; upskilling and enhancing knowledge; tailoring your CV and really dedicating time to the job search. With the advent of homeworking, there could be ideal opportunities for those in need of flexible roles, such as parents and those with caring responsibilities.

A panel discussion followed, led by Dr Nafisah Graham-Brown and joined by Dalila Arafa, a refugee participant from one of our Working West London project partners, Action West London, who worked in logistics and civil transportation in her home country; Joanne Thomas, EMEA Recruiting Lead from Oliver Wyman who is working on a placement programme with Transitions; Fahira Mulamehic, Employment Programmes Manager, Refugee Council; and Debbie Viner, Interim Executive Director of People and Learning, British Red Cross. We were also delighted to be joined by Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing and Southall.

I spoke at an important event addressing refugee employment with @BritishRedCross, @refugeecouncil , @elattlondon and @OliverWyman. Thank you for your valuable insight on the barriers faced by refugees today. I look forward to working with you all in the future. #RefugeeWeek

The panel discussed their challenges and successes of supporting refugees into work and employing refugee individuals including the misconceptions around the right to work in the UK. All the employers agreed their organisations had benefitted from hiring from a larger talent pool, including refugee individuals, as their workforce was enriched by the diverse life experience of these individuals. Attendees shared their thoughts using the online chat function, including comments such as “what a fantastic initiative (from Oliver Wyman). So inspiring to hear such sincerity at the core of your corporate endeavours to support and value refugee potential” and “an excellent point that Virendra mentioned. It’s one of the main barriers- that employers don’t recognise refugees right to work. We are/have been hearing it from refugees on a regular basis unfortunately, over the years.” Thank you to all the panelists who really highlighted the importance of fair hiring practices and education and support for employers, including partnerships with organisations such as ELATT and Action West London.

We are delighted that so many joined us and the excellent feedback we received, that attendees came away with useful tips and felt inspired. If you’d like to keep up to date with what we’re up to and future events, please click here to join our mailing list.

We’re also so proud to announce that our Working West London Team have been shortlisted for Team of the Year at the ERSA Employability Awards 2020. Well done to all the team!