Published: 23 Oct 2023  |  Category: Jobs & careers  |  Stage: We are preparing for a family to arrive | We have welcomed a family

Accessing the Refugee Employability Programme (REP)

Learn about the Home Office initiative that aims to support refugees into employment

“The Refugee Employability Programme (REP) is a Home Office initiative for the specific needs of refugees, to give them the support they need to find work and build their lives in England. The REP aims to remove barriers which cannot be fully addressed by mainstream services”

What is REP?

The new and exciting Refugee Employability Programme (REP) is now available to families who are welcomed through Community Sponsorship. Family members who are referred to the programme will have access to personalized coaching and skills identification, support with creating CVs and job applications, guidance on preparing for job interviews, sector specific training, and self-employment support. They will be allocated a case manager for up to 18 months with whom they will create a Personal Development Plan based on their unique needs and goals. You can access the resource here.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for the programme, the family member must be:

  • 18+
  • Actively seeking work and/or ready for next step towards employment
  • Not in full-time education
  • Working less than 16 hours per week
  • No illness or disability that prevents them from working
  • If welcomed through Community Sponsorship, the family member must have arrived on or after 25th February 2021

How can I refer a family member?

The programme will be delivered by a contracted provider in your regional area. This will ensure that the support is tailored to your specific area and REP providers will be aware of local services. Each area has their own referral process. You can read more about each region’s provider below and click the links to find out more.

South West, The International Rescue Committee (IRC)

The IRC offers employment support, including personalised coaching, skills identification, CV workshops and interview preparation, as well as self-employment and entrepreneurship support to the family members you support in the South West. Service users meet every 10 working days with their coach and update their personal plan around once a month. Interpreters are used with clients who have a low level of English. They also offer a Digital Literacy Course and English for Work course to families welcomed through Community Sponsorship. The courses are delivered by their education teacher, who is a qualified English teacher. He is able to communicate with clients with different levels of English, so there is no limit to the level of English in most courses and he can use interpreting when needed. However, some courses may require a certain level of English for entry if it was more advanced. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

South East, Palladium

Palladium can offer family members a case worker who provides individual support and a learning plan. Their employment support includes building knowledge and confidence, understanding the job market in the UK, preparation in applying to work, interview practice, and settling in to work support. They also offer support with self-employment. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

East of England, Get Set

Get Set offers tailored employment support to family members that aims to help individuals overcome the barriers to employment they face. They have a strong network of refugee-friendly employers ready to support individuals back into work. Their service users can also access self-employment advice and support. Get Set offers various, free training courses in sectors such as hospitality, logistics, transport, and employability. These courses will run throughout 2024. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

North West and West Midlands, Maximus

Maximus can offer Package A, which includes skills and training support, finding and staying in work support, support with settling in, and work experience, to families welcomed through Community Sponsorship. As they have identified language as a barrier to Package A service users, they also provide access to English Language tutors and a set of modules that help service users understand the language of employability. They also benefit from a diverse team that includes staff with lived experience. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

East Midlands, Twin

Twin offers tailored and flexible employment support to help with all aspects of settling into the UK culture and accessing employment. They recognise everyone is different and offer individual support to reflect this. This support may include training on employability skills (CV writing, interview practice, job application training), assistance with skills training, qualifications and achieving recognised qualifications for existing skills, as well as networking support and help finding job roles. The sessions offered to service users are delivered in different ways and will usually take place face-to-face at centres across the region. In some cases, support sessions can be delivered online. Hours per week and qualifications will vary on a case-by-case basis. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

North East, Reed

Reed is one of the largest employment support organisations with offices across the country.  They can deliver their work in most localities in the North East, which can reduce barriers to support. They have staff in place who speak the languages of their service users. They deliver 1:1 bespoke support which includes sessions around career exploration, a needs assessment, SMART goal setting, barrier overcoming strategies, skillset explanation and long-term development. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

London, Reed

Reed (London) offers service users a case manager for up to 18 months to help them move towards employment, explaining how the tax system works, what a “good place to work” looks like, assisting them with creating a CV and interview skills. They will attend interviews alongside their service users, if this is a requirement for them, to help with their confidence. They also offer financial assistance for interview and work clothing and travel to work costs for the first month of employment or until they receive their first salary. Once in work, they offer up to six months of In Work Support. Although individuals welcomed through Community Sponsorship are only eligible for Package A (employability), Reed has seen that many Package A service users are struggling with their levels of English so they are able to, on a case by case basis, include them in their ESOL offer as well. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

Yorkshire and Humber, The Growth Company

The Growth Company’s offer aims to enhance service user’s employability by providing job training, language classes, career counselling, and networking opportunities. Their programme offers a range of training opportunities, including vocational skills training, job-specific workshops, CV writing, interview preparation, and soft skills development. It aims to address the specific needs and demands of the local job market. They provide job placement support and assistance in accessing job opportunities. This could include collaborating with local employers, connecting service users with job fairs, or offering job placement services to increase the chances of finding suitable employment. They will make sure that their service users are never out of pocket attending appointments or interviews. To read more about their offer and find out how to refer a family member, click here.

What happens next?

Once you find your local provider, you will need to provide information for eligibility checks to be conducted.

It’s important to note that REP has two packages of support available. Package A includes employment support only. Package B includes employment support, integration support, and English language training. Families welcomed through Community Sponsorship are only eligible for Package A, employment support. To find out more about who can apply, please click here.

Once their eligibility has been confirmed, the family member will be allocated a case manager and will be able to start accessing this valuable support!

As always, if you have any further questions, please contact Reset at [email protected].


REP Leaflet [262.8KB] Download .PDF