New research by global non-profit Techfugees, finds that almost three in five (59%) Brits welcome the opportunity for refugees to learn new skills in another country and four in ten (40%) think the UK Government could do more to support refugees.
The research also found that nearly 57% of people surveyed believe refugees have the potential to enter new countries and embark on a career that contributes positively to society.
However, once refugees arrive to the country, respondents in the UK associate them with occupations such as manual labourers (17%), cleaners / maintenance workers (13%), and agriculture workers (9%) – with science / technology (3%) and business (3%) being two of the least popular associations. A misconception Techfugees is trying to change.
Mike Butcher MBE, co-founder and chairman of Techfugees, a non-profit dedicated to helping refugees integrate into society through technology says: “The results stand in marked contrast to the daily headlines in the U.K. about the alleged migration crisis. There is clearly an appetite from the British public that the Government do more to help up-skill refugees, which we believe could help solve our current labour shortage”.
Charlie Fraser, Co-Founder of The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network (TERN) who works closely with Techfugees added: “There is a common misconception that refugees are unskilled. In reality, due to their lived experiences, refugees are often resourceful, innovative, and resilient, making them excellent entrepreneurs and a value to society, which we have seen across our network”.
Wars and climate change are already forcing millions to leave their homes every day, with over 80 million displaced people in the world today and the World Bank estimating that 143 million will be displaced by climate change alone by 2050.
According to new analysis into the Home Office’s own data, 98% of refugees crossing the channel to seek asylum are genuinely fleeing persecution.
Facing this reality, Techfugees believe it is vital we address resilience and preparedness within communities and improve our ability to welcome people that are forcibly displaced.
By bringing together innovators, humanitarians, researchers, and social entrepreneurs – both from refugee and local communities – they work to create technology solutions for displaced people worldwide.