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Current front-line work | City of Sanctuary | Birmingham City Council

Current front-line work

We are already putting our City of Sanctuary commitment into practice. Here are some examples of what we’re doing and contributing to:

  • Asylum Dispersal and Initial Accommodation Centres – Birmingham is home to two of the eight UK centres for newly-arrived asylum seekers, which are provided by the Home Office and their partner Serco. People stay in them for a short period, generally up to 21 days, before moving to longer-term accommodation whilst their asylum applications are considered. The council is working with the Home Office and Serco to promote the wellbeing and safety of asylum seekers, including access to appropriate housing, schools and health services, for instance. For further information please contact natasha.bhandal@birmingham.gov.uk.
  • Employment and Skills – we‘re actively helping people from refugee and migrant communities, with leave to stay and the right to work: via Youth Promise Plus, Progression Pathways for Adults, and Skills for Growth. We’re also working with employers, via the Birmingham Business Charter, to improve awareness of and access to people from refugee and migrant communities.
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages – Our ESOL for Work pre-employment programme combines English language tutoring with IT skills, and skills people need to find and keep jobs. In 2017 to 2018, we delivered ESOL classes to 1,486 learners at 12 centres.

Visit Birmingham Adult Education Service website

  • MiFriendly Cities Project – This project is being delivered across Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton with the three councils, as well as eight other voluntary and private sector partners to help develop and understand what it takes to create “Migrant Friendly Cities”. The project includes a range of activities focusing on employability, English language learning (Share My Language), health champions, social enterprise and innovation. To find out more contact bethany.finch@birmingham.gov.uk

Visit MiFriendly Cities website

  • Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme – we’re committed to helping 550 Syrian refugees arriving in the city through the scheme from 2015 to 2020. This includes offering each refugee five years’ of support across housing, welfare, education, arts, culture, health, and active citizenship.

Find out more about the SVPRS

  • Unaccompanied Asylum Seeker Children – Birmingham Children’s Trust has a dedicated social work team, which provides care to children claiming asylum in Birmingham, but without a parent or guardian to look after them.

Read about the warm Brum welcome for separated children

  • USE-IT! Project links the ideas and talents of local people with the needs of urban development projects, identifying qualification needs and matching job skills. So far, for example, the project has helped more than 150 people from refugee and migrant communities with overseas medical qualifications, into NHS employment pathways. For more information contact Karolina.Medwecka@birmingham.gov.uk

Visit the USE-IT! Project website