Construction and refugees
Refugees offer a wealth of experience to the UK construction industry. So how can employers and refugee workers make the most of their skills?
Construction firms can access a range of benefits by welcoming refugees into their workforce. But the building industry also offers rewarding careers to refugee workers themselves, providing the opportunity to learn cutting-edge skills and contribute to major infrastructure projects.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the advantages of placing refugees in construction jobs – and the things employers need to consider…
Understanding refugee status
The term “refugee status” is often misused, potentially making it tricky for businesses to understand what it really means. Simply put, a refugee is a person who has fled their home country because of persecution or severe danger.
They’re given permission to live and work in the UK if they make a successful claim for asylum. As long as a person is officially classed as a refugee, they’re not restricted in the type of work they can do.
Information for applying
Find out more about what you need to apply for a construction job if you are a refugee and how it has already benefitted hundreds around the UK.
Employing refugees: key things to check
Refugees have a special immigration status. Unlike asylum seekers, they have permission to work in the UK for an initial five years. And unlike economic migrants, they don’t need to prove they have certain skills by going through a points-based system.
When employing a refugee, employers need to check:
- Their Biometric Residence Permit, which proves they’ve been granted leave to stay in the UK
- Their National Insurance number, which should have been issued by the Government
- The amount of time they're allowed to remain in the UK for - initially this is five years
- Other relevant documents, such as evidence of past employment
Yes, unlike asylum seekers, refugees have permission to work in the UK for an initial period of five years. However, it is important that employers check the status of individual refugees.
Yes, once refugees have refugee status confirmed they are allowed to work in any profession and at any skill level.
Businesses just need to check a few essential things about a refugee applicant, such as their Biometric Residence Permit, National Insurance number, and the amount of time they are allowed to remain in the UK. Companies should also ask for evidence of previous employment.
Employers looking to take on skilled refugees can get in touch with local agencies, such as Transitions
To learn more about the employment process and the special status which refugees have, construction firms can contact the Refugee Council or the Equality and Human Rights Commission.
Official Home Office guidance
For further information on hiring refugee workers, the Government's website has helpful information and advice.
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