Breaking Barriers is a charity that enables refugees in London to gain knowledge, confidence and experience in order to secure stable and fulfilling jobs. The charity offers bespoke, flexible and intensive employment support which assists individuals when it comes to integrating within the UK and helping them to create fulfilling lives. In order to achieve this, the charity allows businesses to adopt a central role and involves them directly when finding employment solutions for refugees. Breaking Barriers partner directly with employers who provide work experience placements and deliver skills based training for refugees. Through this, refugees are able to gain vital work experience, and they can develop the skills they need in order to help them secure long-term employment.
What Services Do Breaking Barriers Offer?
Through the BB Employment programme, refugees are able to rebuild their lives through meaningful job, education and training opportunities. Breaking Barriers offer intensive, bespoke one-to-one support on a weekly basis, and this is available in two primary sites, Clapham Junction, Shoreditch and Hammerstmith. In addition, they also offer support in partnership with organisations in Balham, Croydon and Ladbroke Grove. Employment and integration advisers and volunteers are matched with clients and are able to support them in a number of ways. This includes writing CV’s, applying for jobs, and interview preparation.
Breaking Barriers’ Education programme is there to provide tailored English language support and training courses. This can increase employability and help to prepare clients for when they enter the workplace. They provide many courses including English for Work, Customer Service, IT, and Numeracy Training. The charity provides small group sessions which are led by trained teachers, along with support from enthusiastic teaching assistants, with the goal for clients to learn new skills, as well as feel confident when they use them.
Understanding the UK Job Market
Partnerships with businesses are a key component to the work that Breaking Barriers do. Together, this allows for sustainable solutions to be developed when it comes to the issue of refugee resettlement. Clients who can benefit from experience within the UK job market are offered a work placement with one of the charity’s corporate partners, and - if they would benefit from it - access to other training and mentoring schemes. The charity’s corporate partners are able to offer paid work experience placements as well as permanent job opportunities. This helps to harness the skills and knowledge of refugees, enabling them to thrive here in the UK.
Breaking Barriers also offer an award winning Academy programme. This offers clients from a number of different backgrounds to apply for bespoke, paid work placements. These placements are designed to prepare clients for permanent roles in the professional field they choose. In addition to work experience opportunities, Breaking Barriers also provide intensive support, training and mentoring, which aims to help refugees find meaningful and fulfilling jobs.
Breaking Barriers also partner with businesses offering permanent Living Wage job opportunities for their eligible clients through the help of the BB Opportunities programme. The charity keeps in contact with every client who finds a role with one of their partners for up to twelve months, providing post employment support. This assists with the clients ongoing personal and professional development.
How You Can Support Breaking Barriers
Since 2015, Breaking Barriers has provided support to over 1000 refugees. For June 2020, they are one of four charities taking part in our monthly poll, and you can help them continue providing their vital services by casting your vote for them. If you would like to find out more about their work or make a donation, you can visit their website.