Refugees resettled in Scarborough have ‘good take-up rate’ of jobs according to council
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A report on refugee resettlement in North Yorkshire has revealed that 163 refugees – 42 families – are living in the county as part of the UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) with preparations underway to receive a further two families.
The bulk of the UKRS arrivals in North Yorkshire have been Syrians, as well as a “small number of Iraqis, Afghan Hazara, Sudanese and South Sudanese,” according to the council.
The majority of Afghan families include at least one individual who supported the British Government or troops with interpretation, translation, and other services “during the occupation”.
North Yorkshire Council has said that Scarborough Job Centre has been working closely with the working-age adults to help them secure local paid employment and there has been “a good take-up rate, especially in jobs in the hospitality sector”.
The report states that several of the men have undertaken and passed the Security Industry Authority (SIA) training, enabling them to work in the industry, whilst some of those who secured local employment in the Scarborough area with national hotel chains have been able to transfer jobs within the same company to their preferred location in the UK.
Of those resettled as part of the scheme, 21 are living in Scarborough, 57 are in Harrogate, 30 are in Hambleton, and 28 are in Selby.
Since February 2022, North Yorkshire has also seen the arrival of families from Ukraine through the Ukraine Family Scheme and the Homes for Ukraine scheme which work in different ways to other refugee resettlement schemes and were not covered by the report.
Self-employment has also been the aim of many refugees but the authority has said that a lack of skills required to set up and run a business in the UK, due to high levels of control and legislation, has proved to be an obstacle.
Although a “substantial amount of support is required”, there are currently five businesses being operated within the county by UKRS refugees, including a takeaway business and a barber shop in Scarborough.
In March this year, the Government announced its plan to close all “bridging accommodation” such as hotels by this autumn, with refugees required to accept the first offer of accommodation from the Home Office.
Around 8,000 Afghans remain in bridging accommodation in the UK and the report notes that the Home Office has ramped up its messaging to Afghan households about the implications of not accepting its single housing offer and the council’s housing options team in Scarborough has also spoken to refugees “in that regard”.
However, last month The Guardian reported that some Afghan refugees in Yorkshire had been issued with eviction notices despite some having already been moved three times.
Asked whether this applied to refugees in North Yorkshire, the council directed questions to the Home Office.
The authority has said that it is employing a social enterprise to help families search for and secure private rented housing in the UK.
In February, the now-defunct Scarborough Council received Government funding to purchase a four-bed property to house an Afghan family in the borough.
The council report notes that less than one percent of refugees identified by the UN are resettled each year and UNHCR states that low- and middle-income countries host 74 per cent of the world’s refugees.