The Refugee Employment Network (REN) brings together non-profits, local authorities and businesses to ensure refugees in the UK have access to paid work or self-employment opportunities. Founded in 2019, our organisation is the only national membership network in the UK exclusively focused on creating better opportunities for refugees across the whole country.
We know refugee employment is the biggest factor in the successful integration of refugees in the UK, yet refugee unemployment rates are estimated at three times above the national average – up to 80% in some regions and refugee underemployment and labour exploitation are also significant issues. The general lack of delivery and coordinated support from national employment services means that refugees coming to the UK with qualifications, skills and work experience are often not recognised and valued in the labour market.
REN’s purpose is to strengthen the ecosystem of support services for refugees across the UK to help remove the financial, cultural and social barriers that prevent them from accessing more employment opportunities and adding social and economic value to society. We are honoured to collaborate closely with 130+ member organisations who work with refugees directly, and ensure their efforts are strong, effective and coordinated through the following activities:
- Facilitate connections between employers and local, regional and national service providers;
- Share best practice of refugee employment and retention, and provide general guidance for our members to create and attain standards for meaningful and long-lasting refugee employment; and
- Leverage resources and seek financial support to fund meaningful job creation and employment support programmes for refugees.