23 January 2019
A social enterprise is asking firms to ‘rethink refugees’ as part of an ongoing campaign which highlights how refugees can fill skills gaps.
ACH, formerly Ashley Community Housing, was established in 2008 as a social enterprise specialising in the integration of refugees through training and accommodation.
The Smethwick-based organisation has resettled over 2,500 individuals from refugee backgrounds and is now a leading provider of integration services for refugees.
ACH are now urging businesses to consider how refugees may be crucial assets to their businesses, and believe that they may help address the skills shortage blight currently being faced by businesses in the West Midlands.
The initiative is part of the firm’s wider campaign, Rethink Refugee, which aims to change the perception of refugees, in order for employers and local communities to view them as assets which will boost local economies and enrich communities.
The firm are looking for businesses to partner with, in order to maximise the talents of local refugee and black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and secure them quality jobs.
They hope to work with employers in hospitality, transportation and construction in order to run training programmes with them, with the hope of placing individuals within engineering, technical and professional services roles.
Julia Palmer, careers and employment manager at ACH, said: “Working in partnership with employers is paramount in helping skilled individuals get started in not just a job, but a career.”
Himilo, ACH’s in-house training company, has already worked with global coffee firm Starbucks to train refugees as baristas in Birmingham.
Starbucks in Birmingham have currently employed eight refugees through ACH’s training courses in the West Midlands.
Sarah Goule, store manager at Starbucks Birmingham, said: “It’s been great for Starbucks to work with ACH in supporting the refugee programme over the last few months.”
Julia (pictured) said: “Starbucks have pledged to employ 10,000 refugees globally over the next five years, and are working alongside like-minded businesses who can support them with this goal.
“Refugees represent a population who seek a chance to rebuild their lives and have a fresh start in the face of extraordinarily difficult circumstances, and for Starbucks their talent, experience and resilience will enrich the communities they serve around the world.”