UWE visit inspires asylum seekers
ACH have been visiting local employers in Bristol as part of our Quartet Community Foundation funded project with Bristol Refugee Rights. The visits have been with groups of asylum seekers looking to learn more about the UK job market and what opportunities are available to them when they get their refugee status.
The latest employer day was facilitated by UWE Bristol at their Frenchay campus. With nearly 4,000 staff and 4 different campus locations across Bristol and Gloucester, UWE is a leading employer in the South West. They also currently have over 30,000 students studying with them to build their careers and are a key anchor institution for the city, making them a great organisation for the asylum seeker group to learn from.
We met with Alisha Airey, BME Project Officer, Dr Anne Foley, Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead for Criminology, and Polly Whitworth, Resourcing Officer. These UWE staff members talked the group through the varying types of roles available at the University, with real-life examples of live job posts. Polly spoke about the application process and the company culture at UWE. It was interesting to hear about all the different networks that are available when you are an employee, including the BME network Alisha talked about.
Then we all had a tour of the Frenchay campus, including the £55million Bristol Business School where students can mix business with learning.
One of the attendees said, “I found the trip so useful and I didn’t know there were all of these jobs available at the University. Thank you to ACH and BRR for allowing us to make these visits. I have court on Monday and this will determine my status. It is good to hear about lots of opportunities for where I can work in Bristol!”
A huge thanks to the staff at UWE for hosting us and inspiring the group to look further into roles at the university. There was a lot of interest in Higher Education, Apprenticeships and working at the university so it was definitely a worthwhile visit.
This project comes at an important time, as we are part of the #LiftTheBan campaign to get the Government to allow Asylum Seekers to work in the UK. Read more about the coalition here.