David Stanton TD, Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, has announced extended funding, worth almost €500,000 under the Dormant Accounts Fund, for seven projects working on the labour market integration of female refugees.
These projects provide a platform for intensive, tailored interventions that address the specific barriers to employment for female refugees. The focus is on improving their employability through skills development, education and training and supports to access the labour market. The funding will allow the projects to progress their work for a second year.
Minister Stanton said: “Employment is a powerful driver of integration. Getting a job is key to social inclusion and a sense of belonging. These programmes support their participants in taking that vital step and enabling them to contribute to Irish life.”
Refugees, in particular, face barriers to the labour market over and above those encountered by other migrants. The forced nature of their migration and the traumatic experiences frequently associated with it may lead to long employment gaps in CVs due to refugees’ migration journey and the asylum process also present obstacles for refugees seeking work.
Two of the projects funded under this programme are:
- Roscommon Integrated Development Company, which runs a project working with refugee women who are resident in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre (EROC) in Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon, as well as those who are newly resettled in Roscommon. This is a collaborative project with input from a broad range of local stakeholders.
- Westmeath Community Development runs an employability project working with Syrian communities in Athlone and Mullingar. This project provides training, guidance, and employment supports, including one-to-one mentoring over a 12-month period to facilitate access to the labour market.
This initiative is just one of the funding programmes that Minister Stanton has made available under the Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020. In 2017, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration granted €9.7 million to 40 national and 31 regional projects to support integration over the next three to four years, with both EU and Irish Government funding. Projects are aimed at promoting inclusion, employability, education, combating racism and xenophobia and increasing mutual understanding between migrants and their host communities.