Working West London Project

A Lottery ESF funded project.

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About the Project

Working West London is an innovative and individualised new project to help refugees to both gain employment and to build their careers based on their existing and potential skills – giving them the knowledge and independence to navigate the UK job market themselves for future jobs. With a strong focus on motivation and aspiration, the project aims to make a substantial and material difference to participants’ lives, helping them gain a renewed sense of confidence and self-worth, a recognition of what they are able to offer the local labour market and a clear path to gaining the skills they need to reach their labour market destination.

The project started in April 2017 and runs until September 2022. It is based in 7 West London boroughs – Hounslow, Harrow, Hammersmith and Fulham, Ealing, Hillingdon, Brent and Barnet and is open for people who have refugee status and who are looking for employment. The project is funded through the Lottery and European Social Fund and is part of the Building Better Opportunities Programme.

Working West London is made up of 5 key delivery partners

ELATT (Lead)

Action West London



The partnership also includes the support of specialist agencies such as International Centre for Integration and Cohesion (outreach), Island Advice (providing debt and welfare advice) and Harrow Law Centre (legal advice and representation for immigration issues).

Project Activities

Detailed and tailored assessment of language, skills and practical needs

This will be complemented by specialist information, advice and guidance. This process includes self-assessment using the MILES soft skills assessment tool (Measurement of Independent Life and Employability Skills), which supports participants to create personal goals and participate in the design of a flexible, responsive programme, and obtaining qualifications equivalence certificates.

'Connect to Careers' training

An employability course tailored for refugees who are new to the UK employment system. Topics include: how to search for jobs in the UK; income tax in the UK and how to build your career whilst working in a lower-skilled job. It offers supplementary training in digital skills, English and Maths and vocationally-specific ESOL (e.g. Health, Teaching, Business).

Capability Exchange Programme

Corporate volunteers will volunteer as mentors and run workshops to support the development of participants' knowledge of workplace culture.

Volunteering in UK workplace environments

Starting on a 'taster' basis and leading to longer-term work placements and employment.

Specialised job brokerage services

Partnering with refugee and industry-specific recruitment partners to support participants into jobs, including roles for refugee lone parents and those with disabilities.

Wraparound support reducing barriers to participation and work

This will include: debt and welfare advice; counselling and mindfulness sessions; hardship support at training stage and in the first months of work (travel/childcare/clothes); specialist support for housing/homelessness, immigration and 28-day transition period, benefits and budgeting.

Social networks development

Holding regular Career Clubs and encouraging attendance at career events.

Employer Education Programme

Hosted by ELATT to clarify refugee right-to-work, the benefits of diversity in business and capacity support for employers offering participants employment.

In-work support

Wraparound support in the first 9 months of employment including in-work training needs; mentoring; 1:1 progress sessions to ensure work sustainability.

Get in touch to find out more