REN Overview

The Refugee Employment Network (REN) is a charity (reg. TBC March 21) that ensures that refugees in the UK can access appropriate, fulfilling, paid employment or self-employment. By doing so we unlock the added value to society we know they are capable of.

We are a strong and growing membership of 180+ people, representing 80+ refugee integration support organisations from across the UK. Working as a united force of NGOs, local authorities, private businesses, together we:

  • Broker opportunities: connecting employers with appropriate local, regional and national service providers, and vice versa
  • Develop best practice: collating research and data to evidence best practice in service areas and businesses sectors
  • Provide advice and guidance: proactively offering support to member organisations to create and attain standards for meaningful and long-lasting refugee employment
  • Leveraging resources and support: finding funding and opportunities that could support meaningful job creation and employment support programmes for refugees

By doing this, over the next 5 years we will drive down the numbers of refugees who are not in employment by removing the financial, cultural and social barriers that stop them from moving forward with their lives in the UK, and help them add the value they want and can to UK society.

We won’t stop working together until:

  • every refugee who is actively looking for work is supported and ultimately accepted into the workforce
  • every business owner or local authority who wants to meaningfully integrate refugees into their communities and workforces is inspired and supported to do so
  • Refugees will be recognised as valuable and important contributors to their local communities and the UK economy.

We are the only national membership network focused exclusively on solving the challenges surrounding refugee employment in the UK.

We are the only network with a broad membership representation across the third sector, government, local authority and private businesses across the UK’s biggest industries including retail, care and hospitality.

We share many of the same passions and values as other refugee agencies - and see our contribution to the wider refugee movement through the meaningful integration of refugees into local and national economies via the workforce.

What UNCHR said about REN

“Refugees are underrepresented in the UK workforce and we are missing a great opportunity to enable them to contribute to the country and better integrate. There are many organisations working on new projects with refugees across the UK, helping them along the pathway to employment. However, UNHCR has observed that the quality and availability of refugee employment support varies widely across the UK. In recent years, there has been a need for more effective coordination and sharing of best practice among different stakeholders working on refugee employment. UNHCR has therefore been fully supportive of REN’s work in coordinating the approach to refugee employment support since its inception in 2017.”