“UK refugees are often highly skilled but they are six times less likely to be employed than the UK national average.”

Kingston upon Thames, one of London’s wealthiest towns, is home to thousands of refugees and asylum seekers. Even though they live amongst London’s super-rich, finding a job is not an easy task.

According to Refugee Council, almost all asylum seekers in the UK are not allowed to work and are forced to rely on state support. However, research shows that refugees are highly motivated to find employment and to make a positive contribution at work. A new appeal by Refugee Action Kingston (RAK), a small organisation based in Kingston upon Thames, is calling on everyone to help local refugees into work.

“Access to UK labour market is a huge challenge faced by almost every refugee seeking a job,” Sanja Djeric Kane, RAK Director, said. RAK’s employment service helps refugees understand how the UK recruitment process works, how to complete online applications, write CVs and prepare for interviews. Through RAK’s services, they can also learn English – one of the main obstacles for refugees seeking employment.

Last year, RAK supported 101 refugees and 21 of them secured a job. “By securing a job refugees become active members of our local community, more able to contribute and fully participate at a local level,” Kane said. “The security of work means their confidence and mental health will improve which will have positive impact on their life and their future.”

RAK was set up in 1991 by a group of refugees and voluntary sector workers who were aware that refugees in Kingston were isolated and needed help and support. As many other charitable organisations is Kingston, RAK is facing a period of financial instability due to recent budget cuts.

“Supporting local initiatives is the best way to ensure sustainability of your local community and help those in need,” said Kane. “Giving refugees tools to support themselves is the best we can do for them.”

All the money donated towards the appeal will help RAK continue providing advice and employability training courses to hundreds of refugees.

For more information visit their Local Giving appeal page.