As the new fiscal year begins, I wanted to share three trends from the field that Higher took note of in 2013. All three show creativity and innovation in addressing some of the common challenges we all face in supporting refugees’ entry into the workforce. Here are the top three:
1. Expanded employer partners — more local refugee employment offices are marketing their services to a broader array of companies. With more diverse caseloads and more competition for available jobs, refugee employment professionals are networking and finding entry-level opportunities in new industries.
2. Short-term skills training — new training models in food service, hospitality and sewing indicate progress in designing skills training that fits into the short time frame available during the initial resettlement period. By including employers in the design of these training programs, refugees who complete a short-term training are finding it easier to get a job that uses their new skills.
3. Post-placement support — front-line employment specialists are offering additional follow-up to companies who hire their clients. They are leveraging the challenges that come with on boarding new staff to their advantage by offering a free interpreter for any kind of safety training require and being willing to visit an employer after hours. These steps are reported by front-line staff to increase the likelihood that the employer will call the local refugee employment office first when they have openings to fill.
Please contact us if you would like to hear more details or connect to someone in the field who is currently working on one of these ideas.