Every year, people are forced to flee their countries due to war or violence. When we learned that people seeking asylum in the UK aren’t allowed to work unless they’re trapeze experts or one of the best nuclear sciences in the world (we kid you not-and even these jobs are only available after waiting 12 long months without being allowed to work at all!) we thought we’d have a little look at how the UK compares to other countries around the world..
In Denmark, people seeking asylum can work after 6 months of entering the country. In several municipalities a ‘Fast Track’ programme has been introduced. The main aim of the programme is to make the transition from an asylum claim to a refugee status as breezy as possible, by making sure people are in a position to enter the job market right away.
We did a little more reading up on it and found the programme consists of an eight-week training programme that provides participants with an introduction to the Danish culture, language skills, vocational training, local internships and network building. There was a recent evaluation of the programme which showed that out of the 70 participants who’d been granted refugee status, almost two thirds were now self-supporting!
Oh, Canadaaa! When we heard about Canada’s “no formal waiting period” for asylum seekers to start work, we couldn’t believe that this wasn’t the same for the UK.
Federal policy in Canada has focused on getting more people into work while they’re waiting for a decision on their asylum case. Once an asylum seeker has completed an interview with federal authorities, they can apply for a work permit, with the Government promising a process time of 30 days and under! A whopping 14,000 work permits were granted within a year.
Doesn’t it just make sense for the UK to allow asylum seekers to work and apply for any job, so they can contribute to society and integrate into their new community.? Especially when so many other countries are helping asylum seekers, such as Portugal and Sweden who only have a one day waiting period, or Spain who have no job restrictions!
We think so and, if you agree, you can sign our Right to Work movement here to Lift the Ban on the block of asylum seekers being allowed to work. Let’s act now and help unlock the potential of asylum seekers in the UK.
sign the petition