Refugee Action, a UK charity, and Manpower Inc, an international employment agency, set up a work placement programme to give refugees an opportunity to get work experience in the UK and to develop their skills and knowledge for future employment. After applying to advertised placements, refugees can then be offered a real work context to use their reading, writing, verbal and listening skills. The unpaid placement is full-time, Monday to Friday for two weeks. Refugees are involved in basic entry-level administration tasks, and gain the additional experience of learning how people apply for jobs and are recruited. The role of Refugee Action in the partnership is to give refugees a one-to-one pre-placement briefing about what will be expected from them and how to get the most out of the placement. At the end of their first day Refugee Action contacts the refugee and Manpower to find out how the placement is going. After the placement, Manpower provides refugees with a reference and personal feedback about their performance. As an international employment agency, Manpower has a vast network of clients in a wide range of sectors. This was helpful for refugee professionals who were having difficulties developing their professional contacts, especially in unregulated professions. The Manpower team found it interesting and rewarding to meet refugees from different countries. As part of the partnership, Refugee Action provided Manpower staff with Refugee and Asylum Seeker Awareness Training.
✔✔ Ensure refugees are clear on the work placement requirements such as arriving on time and wearing appropriate clothes
✔✔ Make the experience as close to the real job application process to maximise learning.
World of Work programme (WOW) is a pre-employment work orientation course involving a series of six different modules. They are funded by the US government and delivered by Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) a Louisville, Kentucky (USA) based nongovernmental organisation. Each refugee arriving is enrolled on the course, and can complete each module in 1-3 weeks. Classes meet once a week for approximately 1-1.5 hrs, for the following modules:
1. Introduction and Basics of the American Work Culture: Basic employer expectations and terminology are addressed.
2. Application Process: Looking at sample pre-employment skill tests, application forms, employment tax documentation, personal background checks, drug or alcohol screening and release forms, harassment policies, etc.
3. Interviews: Mock interviews are compulsory, complete with evaluation and critique. Dress policies, workplace communication, and maximizing personal appearance are also covered.
4. Job Retention: This module addresses how to retain your job, as well as reviewing workplace safety, typical company policies, common employer/employee problems, sick day procedures.
5. Understanding Your Paycheck: KRM staff give a line by line explanation of a typical paycheck.
6. Benefits, Insurance, and Review: KRM explain basic employee benefits and qualifications as well as benefit compliance, worker’s compensation Insurance and accident/ injury reporting is discussed in detail. As a result, 70% of KRM clients completing the WOW program successfully find employment.