Refugee & Asylum Policy Advice & Research

refugee social integration researchers sitting outdoors

Refugee & Asylum Policy Advice & Research

We're specialists in labour market and social integration of refugees

With 10 years of experience at a grassroots level developing specialist housing and training support for refugees and migrants, ACH now offer consultancy services to a variety of partner organisations. These include projects in the UK, Europe and Africa.

Since 2016 we have been focused on the development of our integration service, and are now partners in, or lead on £2.25m worth of research projects, and are cited as delivery partners on 4 recent ESRC submissions with Aston, Bristol and Northampton Universities.

We are specifically researching:-

  1. Whether the current ESOL/ Employability paradigm entrenches poverty and creates social harm
  2. The impact of power relationship imbalances on initial transition stage from first language to English
  3. The interplay between the civic, social and economic dimensions of integration
  4. Career pathways and what inhibits social mobility
  5. The effect of professionalising CEIAG and fast track English Language acquisition provision for refugees

You can read more about our EU funded projects at

We are currently in the process of enhancing our CRM system to reflect our role in this research, and our own focus groups and to embed the findings into the delivery of our service across 3 cities.

Our database, and associated processes, will be redesigned in 2019 to reflect our own need to capture significantly more data on those progressing through our service. This will meet the following needs:-

  • Service improvement - enhancing and improving service across social, civic and economic dimensions
  • Business intelligence - determining the characteristics of individuals to identify requirements for training, support services and readiness for progression onto employment pathways within the local labour markets of Wolverhampton, Bristol and Birmingham
  • Informing UK Refugee and Asylum Policy - We will hold a unique dataset which details the impact of previous interventions on an individual, their requirements to progress integration economically, socially and civil.

We offer:

  • Project and programme design

  • Capacity building

  • Project evaluation

    Get in touch

    With our Business Development Manager, Richard Thickpenny:


    or call 0117 941 5353.

    Asylum seeker visit to Engine Shed Bristol

    Entrepreneurship Facilitator

    A one-year pilot of an Entrepreneurship Facilitator working with entrepreneurs in under-represented communities to connect them with business support and understand the systemic barriers to economic inclusion.

    This pilot began in September 2018 and is funded by ACH, Engine Shed, the West of England Combined Authority, and the University of Bristol, in partnership with Barton Hill Settlement.

    male refugee & tech entrepreneur forming diversity research report

    Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) diversity and inclusion:

    This was a joint piece of research (in partnership with Up Our Street) to improve engagement with business incubation at SETsquared Bristol.

    exploring men's experience of displacement through reflections & poetry

    Men, Gender and Displacement

    This collaborative research project between ACH and the University of Bristol explored men’s experience of displacement in Bristol through a series of research days out with ACH tenants and learners. 

    The accompanying brochure showcases the research using reflections and poetry. 

    CFE ACH north of england refugee service survey

    Starting afresh: How entrepreneurship is transforming the lives of resettled refugees

    The Centre for Entrepreneurs worked with ACH and the North of England Refugee Service to conduct a survey of 96 refugees in the UK to measure their interest in entrepreneurship.

    migrant firms act as a vehicle for social integration of refugees

    Facilitating New Migrant Business Development: A Collaborative Approach (CREME) 

    ACH and the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), University of Birmingham

    Research review by Maria Villares-Varola*, Mender Ram**, Trevor Jones,***, Sabina Doldor**

    * University of Southampton, ** University of Birmingham

    resettlement and integration of refugees and forced migrants


    A new perspective on the resettlement and integration of Refugees and Forced Migrants.

    Provocation Paper for Fuad Mahamed, Clore Social Fellow 2016.

    refugee students gathered around a table at an esol course

    The Effectiveness of Current ESOL Courses from the Perspective of Refugee Students