Wasted Skills


15 September 2006
Times Higher Educational Supplement - Letter
Give refugees a hand by John Akker, CARA Executive Secretary
'Don't waste our talents' (Opinion, September 8) is a considerable indictment of the way that academics who flee from regimes such as the Taliban are treated. It is far too common that such academics face huge problems and difficulties when they come to the UK. The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (Cara) is determined that such appalling waste and personal frustration is brought to an end. That is why we provide grants to help them build on their existing skills and academic interests. Many who have received our support now work in universities, the health service and in other occupations. But universities and their staff have a major contribution to make. This is why we have launched a scheme to assist universities to set up structures to help refugee academics. This is jointly supported by the Scholars at Risk Network based in the US. Applications are now invited for the Pathfinder University Grants Scheme funded by the Sigrid Rausing Trust (more information can be obtained from info.cara@lsbu.ac.uk). We would also encourage universities to join the UK Universities Network, which has been created to assist such academics.

08 September 2006
Times Higher Educational Supplement
Don't waste our talents, we're not illiterate idiots by Haroon Amirzada
From delivering lectures in Kabul to delivering pizzas in London, academic refugee Haroon Amirzada's woes did not end when he escaped the Taleban. more...

01 June 2005
The Londoner
The waste of refugee skills is a 'scandal'
Highly skilled refugees are being denied the chance to work resulting in a 'scandalous waste' of skills that could benefit vital areas of the economy, a report has warned. The Council for Assisting Refugee Academics says the potential of thousands of engineers, doctors and professionals who could work in areas hit by skills shortages is being ignored. The charity estimates that few of the 1,500 doctors, dentists and other health workers living as refugees in Britain are employed in their chosen field. Council for Assisting Refugee Academics executive secretary John Akker, said: 'It is a scandal that more is not done. We often receive applications for support from people with skills in areas where we are crying out for key workers.We urgently need greater resources and guidance for refugees to stop pools of talent remaining untapped.' Some of the UK's most successful former refugees include BBC programmes director Alan Yentob, Portsmouth footballer Lomana Tresor Lua Lua and columnist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

23 April 2005
The Guardian
Refugees are wasting skills by Nick Pandya
Thousands of academics and professionals forced to take menial jobs in UK more...

14 March 2005
The Guardian
Britain 'fails to tap skills of highly qualified refugees' by Rebecca Smithers Education Editor
more...

14 March 2005
The Telegraph
Britain not using 'vital skills' of refugees
more...

14 March 2005
BBC News
Britain 'wasting' refugee skills
Highly qualified refugees are being ignored for jobs in their chosen professions, resulting in a "scandalous waste" of skills, a report has warned more...

14 March 2005
Financial Times
NATIONAL NEWS BUSINESS & ECONOMY: Expertise of highly qualified refugees ignored by Andrew Taylor
more...

14 March 2005
The Independent
Refugees could cut skills shortages and pay £100m tax by Maxine Frith, Social Affairs Correspondent
Report: Allowing asylum-seekers to work would boost economy more...

14 March 2005
The Herald
'Scandal' of the refugees with talents that are going to waste Thousands of professionals under-employed by Eleanor Cowie
QUALIFIED refugees are being ignored for jobs in their own profession in the UK, resulting in a "scandalous waste" of their skills, it is claimed today. more...

14 March 2005
The Journal
Skills of refugees and asylum seekers go to waste by Rebekah Ashby
more...

14 March 2005
Northern Business Daily/The Journal
Thousands with top skills wasted by Rebekah Ashby
more...

14 March 2005
IC Brimingham
Time to stop the 'scandal' of ignoring immigrants for key jobs by John Revill
more...