Discovering a Source of Untapped Talent: Refugee Potential

We are running an event on October 15th to explore the issues and barriers surrounding refugee employment and the potential benefits refugees can bring to our societies.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, half of refugees in the UK have qualifications for high-skilled jobs, but their unemployment rate is three times that of UK nationals.

During an evening of conversation, stories and inspiration, we will discuss how we can level the playing field for refugee talent and change the rhetoric from people who rely on handouts to people that positively contribute to society.

The event is curated by the co-founder Paul Hutchings, and hosted by Sam Phillips, Head of Diversity and Inclusion across Omnicom Media Group UK.

By the end of 2016, over 1 million refugees and migrants had reached European shores, undertaking dangerous journeys from countries suffering from war and persecution. As far-right sentiment has risen in Europe, many political parties have increasingly used the topic of ‘mass migration’ for their own ends. As a consequence, public anxieties have increased surrounding security, employment and national sovereignty.

In this increasingly negative climate, many refugees with the right to work are struggling to find employment – something which is costing employers as they miss out on a pool of talent. Refugees are an abundance of knowledge, experiences and ideas that are of great value to receiving societies. How can we change the hearts and minds of our societies so refugees are seen as people who have a lot to offer? And how can we show that a variety of cultural insights and viewpoints can help build greater success?

We have two special guests for the evening. Dina Nayeri, author of The Ungrateful Refugee, is well placed to discuss how we can unleash this talent. Dina will talk to Paul about her life, her new book and her experiences as a Refugee Support volunteer. Her book weaves together her own vivid story with other asylum seekers in recent years, giving us an insight into their daily lives and journeys from escape to resettlement.

Our other guest, Mike Butcher MBE, Editor at Large for TechCrunch and founder of Techfugees, will also join us in conversation. Techfugees helps equip our societies and businesses with the tools that enable us to welcome displaced people. They are focused on supporting the inclusion of refugees and displaced people into the tech industry.

This invitation only event for Diversity and Inclusion Directors will be held at The Telephone Exchange in London on 14th October.

Contributors on the evening:

Paul Hutchings, Co-founder of Refugee Support
Sam Phillips, Head of Diversity and Inclusion across Omnicom Media Group UK
Dina Nayeri, Author of The Ungrateful Refugee
Mike Butcher MBE, Founder of Techfugees and Editor-at-large of TechCrunch

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