Looking back on Ignite Integration & its Success
Ignite Integration has been an innovative programme, successfully providing tailored integration support to refugees and migrants.
Recently coming to an end, we’re looking back on Ignite Integration and the positive impact it’s had…
The ONS Local Migration Indicators (2013-2017) indicate that Coventry has the second-highest number of international migrants. Partnering with our friends Coventry City Council and Coventry Job Shop the Ignite Integration Programme has offered a brand-new approach to city-wide integration.
Ignite Integration’s Mission
Ignite Integration’s mission is/ was to support refugees and migrants along their integration journey by offering holistic support identified through ACH Integrass Toolkit.
What is the Integrass Toolkit? The Integrass Toolkit takes a holistic approach to integration which aims to support the journey of refugees and migrants and inform the city of potentially unidentified barriers. It measures a person’s level of integration through specific questions on key indicators of integration. It considers the knowledge, competence, skills, education, and experience of refugees and migrants with a focus on self-reflection. Dependent on the Integrass assessment’s outcome, each individual is then generated a tailored ‘personal integration plan’ to support and overcome barriers to their social and economic integration.
Once completing an assessment, the Ignite Integration programme provided specialised integration support reflective of the client’s specific needs. Much of this support was provided through a variety of training courses and activities created by ACH. All of which had a focus to help individuals gain confidence in the community, become more independent, learn employability and language skills, and secure sustainable employment.
The Impact of Ignite Integration
Engaging with 169 refugees and migrants in Coventry, the Ignite Partners have conducted 206 Integrass Assessments and provided 1302 interventions ranging from, support with CV writing to accessing advice services such as immigration advice. This support has helped 30 individuals progress onwards to their first career, bridging an employment opportunity 6-12 months earlier than without intervention.
Specialised ACH training courses have given clients the opportunity to access a variety of courses specific to their needs. Improving the client’s skill set, self-advocacy, and consequently, the chance of securing a sustainable and fulfilling career. Through Coventry City Council and Coventry Job Shop’s crucial links with local employers and training providers, a total of 54 clients have progressed into employment or accredited training*.
We have also bridged the gap between a wide range of statutory and voluntary organisations, and refugees and migrants. Meaning local businesses will have a more diverse workforce that is more representative of the community that it serves in. Also supporting local employers to tackle the issue of skills shortage.
A client involved in the programme expressed – “You are so amazing. I’ve never had help like this in all my life. God bless you, Employment Support - The Job Shop and the Ignite Integration Programme. You guys are making a huge difference in my life.”
Despite the UK's first-ever national lockdown, triggered by COVID-19, together we have developed effective mechanisms for delivering programmes digitally. All of which will have long-term benefits for reaching clients and tackling classroom exclusion. Ignite Integration has also seen wider benefits to the community such as, enhanced contribution to the economic growth of Coventry, increased social capital for refugees and migrants who can feel isolated and strengthened relationships between newly arrived and host communities, leading to improved community cohesion.
Overall Ignite Integration has been an impactful and successful programme which we are proud to have been a part of. We are excited to continue our collaborative work with Coventry City Council, through our recently launched two-year partnership - MyCoventry. A scheme that will help improve language skills and enable new communities to learn and feel a part of the life of the city, as well as boost employment opportunities. Using some of the tried and tested courses from Ignite Integration.
Thank you to our partners and friends Coventry City Council and Coventry Job Shop and our funders, the Ministry of Housing, Communities, and Local Government. We look forward to continuing to develop a long-term and sustainable framework for the integration of refugees, migrants, and newly arrived communities.
This programme has strongly supported our commitment for all refugees, migrants and newly arrived communities to be successfully integrated into their host society and economy #RethinkingRefugee. If you would like to partner with us or find out more about ACH please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MyCoventry is part funded through the European Union Asylum Migration Integration Fund. Making management of migration flows more efficient across the European Union.