Breaking Barriers

Breaking Barriers is a specialist charity that supports refugees into meaningful employment with advice, experience and education. It has found that the health and social care sector ranks as one of the top sectors in which their clients aspire to work.

  • The partnership aims to reduce high unemployment rates among refugees and reduce the vacancy rates in the health and social care sector
  • Health and social care is the top sector that refugees say they want to work in
  • Partnership aims to create a bespoke recruitment pathway for refugees into the social care sector, and to influence the wider health and social care sector to support refugees into employment.

Since pandemic restrictions have eased, some trends in the health and care sector have re-emerged. According to Skills for Care, vacancy rates in England are at 8.2%, which is even higher than their pre-pandemic levels, and 105,000 vacancies are being advertised on average each day. Turnover is also high, at 34.4%.

To overcome challenges faced by both refugees and employers, Breaking Barriers and the Foundation have developed a long-term partnership. Activities will include a bespoke recruitment pathway to support refugee clients into employment with social care providers, including CareTech PLC, a roundtable with stakeholders from across the care sector, a sector-specific best practice guide to engage the care sector and encourage them to take action for refugees, and funding for Breaking Barriers’ employment programmes. Initially piloted in London, the programme will be scaled up nationally.

"Partnerships with businesses are integral to our impact at Breaking Barriers, and this is a win-win opportunity. Refugees will be able to bring their skills to many different roles in with social care providers, and the health and care sector will be able to fill vacancies and reduce turnover with diverse talent. Together with the Foundation, we look forward to unlocking the potential of refugees across the UK on a grand scale."
Matt Powell, CEO of Breaking Barriers

The programme has secured £500,000 from the European Social Fund and the Foundation has committed £150,000 over two-years. The programme aims to:

  • Reach 530 clients in total across London in Y1, growing to 560 in Y2
  • 140 clients will engage with education programme in Y1, growing to 152 in Y2
  • Deliver 2 x care sector insight sessions for Employment advisors per year to enhance their knowledge and collaborate with the sector
  • Pilot the delivery of a care sector focused employability workshop for clients to increase their skills, knowledge and confidence to enter into the sector.
  • Develop sustainable refugee recruitment pathway for the care sector by engaging CareTech PLC and other care providers on solutions to refugee unemployment.