Increasing employment opportunities for refugees and supporting refugees' reentry into the workforce
After fleeing war or persecution, the opportunity to work to make a living is one of the most effective ways people can rebuild their lives and restore their dignity.
The Partnership is engaging the private sector to help refugees get back into the workforce.
Examples of work in this space includes:
- Helping refugees enter the workforce by providing, or helping refugees obtain, vocational training and needed language-skills and developing tools that match refugees' skills with existing employment opportunities.
- Providing, or helping refugees obtain technical assistance and seed funding to foster startup activity.
- Creating new technologies or software to match skilled refugees to available employment opportunities.
- Operating microfinance programs to provide refugees with capital to start their own business.
- Creating job opportunities for refugees by: hiring refugees, procuring goods and services from refugee-hiring businesses, or making investments in frontline states that will generate jobs for both refugees and their host communities.
Learn more about the employment challenges refugees face and how companies can make a difference here.
Here is how the private sector is helping:
Accenture & Upwardly Global
As one of Accenture's largest Skills to Succeed partners, Upwardly Global ("UpGlo") helps work-authorized immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers who are skilled and foreign educated to overcome the barriers to entering professional careers in the US.
In 2013, Accenture teamed up with UpGlo to launch a new online employment training program focused on developing the skills necessary to be successful in landing on professional jobs in the U.S. Developed with an Accenture grant, the program helps skilled refugees and immigrants gain relevant job search skills by offering remote access to interactive training on job searching, resume writing, interviewing and networking skills, and providing industry-specific technical and career pathways training for foreign-trained healthcare and IT professionals.
Accenture help expanded UpGlo's services in 2015-2016 by equipping 1700 refugees and immigrants with career skills and securing jobs for up to 750 per year with the help of Accenture volunteers and a mix of cash donations and pro bono support. Together, Accenture and UpGlo have succeeded in empowering over 3,000 refugees and immigrants through its training program, and aim for 10,000 users over the next three years. Close to 2,000 Accenture staff have volunteered over 5,000 hours to help UpGlo provide job training counseling, mock interviews and networking training to immigrants. Job seekers from UpGlo are encouraged to apply for jobs at Accenture upon completion of the program.
Chipotle & International Rescue Committee
Since 2009, the IRC and Chipotle have developed a multi-faceted partnership that includes refugee and asylee employment, urban farming and culinary entrepreneurship grants, support of nutrition incentives and healthy food access programs and event sponsorship. IRC and Chipotle share important core values of investing in promoting healthier people and communities - and our collaboration has centered around cultivating a better world via the food sector.
Chipotle acknowledges that many immigrants come to the U.S. with a knowledge-base and passion for cultivating and cooking fresh food. The IRC is a preferred employment partner for Chipotle, and IRC works with Chipotle restaurant managers and regional HR recruiters in every US city where IRC offices and Chipotle restaurants overlap (~24 cities).
Chipotle has underwritten IRC's initiative to equip refugee and immigrant farmer entrepreneurs with the tools they need to pursue urban farming to grow fresh, culturally appropriate produce to feed themselves, their families, and their communities in 9 US cities. More recently, Chipotle is also bolstering the IRC's gardening and nutrition education programs for youth.
Together, IRC and Chipotle are growing healthier neighborhoods by harnessing the valuable, diverse skills that refugees bring to this country, as well as their value as committed, resilient employees and community members.
LinkedIn & Various Multi-Sector Initiatives
In February 2016, LinkedIn launched its first pilot initiative in Sweden, Welcome Talent, to help address the refugee crisis. Using the LinkedIn platform, we created a microsite that is an entry point to connect newly settled refugees with employers who have committed to hiring them. The site has information, resources and case studies to help refugees create optimal profiles. To date, more than 1,000 jobs have been posted from potential employers. This is a multi-sector initiative working with the Swedish government, NGO community, universities and the private sector. We are also one of the founding partners of the Tent Foundation private sector alliance that has formed to address the refugee crisis. We are currently exploring other markets where we might expand this work.