Chambers looking to ease job vacancy crisis during Refugee Week 2022

Staffordshire Chambers is giving its full support to Refugee Week 2022 by highlighting its Positive Pathways project and the way in which it helps refugees in the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire to become employment ready and enabled to contribute to the local labour market.

Refugee Week is a UK-wide festival celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary. Founded in 1998 and held every year around World Refugee Day on the 20 June, Refugee Week is also a growing global movement.

Refugee Week’s vision is for refugees and asylum seekers to be able to live safely within inclusive and resilient communities, where they can continue to make a valuable contribution.

Positive Pathways project manager Julie Priestnall said: “Positive Pathways is a business start-up and employability skills programme specifically designed to support refugees across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Participants can access training in starting a business or employability skills such as CV writing and interview skills.

“We are currently working with many refugees who want to work and make a valuable contribution to their host community. They are often highly skilled, and capable individuals who hold qualifications and practical experience across so many areas of work.

“With an increasingly tight labour market it has become much harder for employers to fill job vacancies. The knock-on effect is impacting on firms’ ability to operate normally and retain skills in the business. We have contact with refugees locally with the skillsets that local employers are struggling to find.

“We have seen quite a number of refugees arriving in Staffordshire from Ukraine since the start of the war in February. Many are highly skilled and desperate to work and give something back in return for the welcome and hospitality they have received.

“With this in mind, we are looking to engage with employers who would consider taking on a refugee in the vacancies they are finding difficult to fill at the moment.”

If you would like to find out more about how positive pathways could benefit your, please contact Julie Priestnall: julie.priestnall@staffordshirechambers.co.uk 01782 202222

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