Nineteen major companies in the UK are again offering mentoring opportunities for 615 LGBTQI refugees for 2022/2023. These companies are:
Bain, Biogen, Citi, Coca-Cola together with Costa Coffee and Innocent, Endeavor, GSK, Hilton, Jacobs, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Linklaters, McKinsey, Novartis, PayPal, Pfizer, PwC, Santander, The Very Group, and Unilever.
Employees from these companies will support LGBTQI refugees to learn new skills, prepare to find a job and to increase their confidence and self-esteem. This programme is a partnership between Tent, Stonewall and Micro Rainbow.
Obstacles to finding employment
Micro Rainbow’s work and consultations with LGBTQI refugees show that the major obstacles to finding employment are:
- the lack of UK-based work experience as well as their refugee status, race, sexuality and gender which are intersecting issues that put them on the fringes of the job market
- the qualifications that they gained in their countries of origin are often not valid in the UK
- low confidence and self-esteem
- the suspicion of potential employers as soon as they became aware that they are refugees.
Joseph, who took part in the mentoring scheme, talks about the impact it had on him:
The best decision I have made so far throughout my journey as an asylum seeker in the UK was being a part of this mentoring scheme. I am sure this is same for the others that took advantage of this scheme. One year after, I am still counting my profits from being a part of the scheme.
My confidence in the corporate world has been much elevated. This is just one amongst other benefits too numerous to mention, as I don’t count my chicks before they hatch. Thanks to everyone that contributed one way or the other to make this a possibility, I’m profoundly grateful.
Nontu Maraire is a refugee from Zimbabwe who is responsible for the overall Moving On work of Micro Rainbow. She said about the programme:
The mentoring programme gives Micro Rainbow’s beneficiaries a platform to experience life-changing and practical opportunities. Participating in last year’s programme allowed our beneficiaries to expand their knowledge and skills, gain valuable advice from experienced mentors as well as build their confidence, self-esteem and potential professional networks. This increase in self-confidence supported refugees to find jobs and helped them to settle in their new communities. We are excited to take part in this mentoring programme for an additional year.
If you are interested and you are an LGBTQI asylum seeker or refugee, apply to take part in the scheme by filling in the application form. Applications will be accepted for this programme until 30th November 2022.