Aspire Oxfordshire is proud to announce the introduction of a pioneering new programme to provide vital employment support for refugees and migrants settling in Oxfordshire.

Between May and November 2024, benefiting from a grant award from Oxfordshire County Council, Aspire will support 100 refugees and migrants throughout the county to acquire the essential English-language skills needed to achieve their education and employment aspirations. Key objectives for the project include participants achieving independent living by way of sustainable employment, and fostering a sense of belonging within their new communities.

As part of this pilot initiative, Aspire has developed a series of work-based English for Speakers of Other Languages (WBESOL) courses which address such topics as Living in the UK, UK Work-Culture, CV-writing and Interview Preparation Technique. Clients will be supported to improve their language skills and to make use of their talents, qualifications and experience on their journey into the workplace. They will also be encouraged to benefit from opportunities to undertake volunteering,  work-experience, shadowing and sector training with local employers, complemented by access to Aspire’s specialist person-centred employment support and personalisation funding.

This new programme builds on Aspire’s existing range of employment-focused activities in support of refugees and migrants and other disadvantaged groups experiencing unemployment in Oxfordshire, working in tandem with local employers who have committed to improving the accessibility of employment opportunities through Inclusive Recruitment.

John Linnard, Refugee Projects Manager, said of the new programme: “We are appreciative of the significant funding provided by Oxfordshire County Council which will enable Aspire to ramp up its delivery of life-changing employment and associated English-language support to migrants throughout the county.”

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