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HIGHLY SKILLED ASYLUM SEEKERS 'PREVENTED FROM WORKING'

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A home office study has found that most asylum seekers are highly skilled but racism is stopping them from finding ...
A home office study has found that most asylum seekers are highly skilled but racism is stopping them from finding work, reports The Guardian (p21).

The study found that one-third of all those accepted as genuine refugees had a university degree, post-graduate or professional qualification. Only 18% had no educational qualifications.

Although Britain's unemployment rate is now at its lowest for many years, the opportunity to ensure that asylum seekers can participate in the economic life of the country is being missed.

The net result is that many end up living on social security benefits. But as the experience of Ugandan Asians, the Vietnamese boat people and others suggest, they may soon develop their own businesses if they can't find employment.

The new national system of dispersal of asylum seekers throughout Britain has meant that in the 'cluster areas' a special effort is being made to develop new networks to support refugees.

But the deep hostility, bordering on racism, towards asylum seekers seen in much of the media in the past week does not bode well for the political will that is needed in these new parts of the country for the future reception and settlement of refugees.

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