Care provider pledges to train and employ 500 refugees from Afghanistan

Britain has pledged to welcome 5,000 refugees in the next year and a total of 20,000 Afghan refugees over the ‘long-term’ amid the crisis

Ella Glover
Thursday 26 August 2021 09:45 BST
Afghan refugees land in Birmingham

One of the UK’s largest home care providers has pledged to train up and employ 500 refugees from Afghanistan as carers.

Cera, a start-up that uses technology to bring people services such as social care, nursing and repeat prescriptions in their own home, will work with more than 160 local councils and the Government to recruit, train and employ the refugees who come to the UK as part of its resettlement programme.

The Taliban this year launched an offensive that coincided with the withdrawal of most US and allied troops in the country. On Sunday 15 August, they captured the capital city of Afghanistan, leading to a humanitarian crisis.

Britain has pledged to welcome 5,000 refugees in the next year and a total of 20,000 Afghan refugees over the “long-term” amid the crisis.

Ben Maruthappu, Cera co-founder and chief executive, said finding employment is “yet another significant obstacle to overcome” for many people starting a new life after being displaced by conflict.

He continued: “Over the next five years, our goal is to support them in this journey by offering a pathway into not only gainful employment, but an enormously rewarding career in one of the UK’s most important sectors.

“We’ll be working with those councils we are already in partnership with, as well as the government more broadly, to reach out to those affected and who are eligible for these roles.

“If we can play even a small role in helping those arriving from Afghanistan, that’s an opportunity we’re keen to grasp with both hands.”

The move may also bolster the UK’s dwindling workforce in the social care sector, which Skills for Care estimates is seeing around 112,000 vacancies on any given day.

The UK Government has been urged to increase the number of refugees it plans to welcome amid the growing crisis.

Refugee charities have said the UK’s short-term commitment to resettle 5,000 Afghan citizens was “too little” to meet the scale of the immediate crisis.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged the prime minister to increase the commitment in a letter. She said the initial number of 5,000 people is “not sufficient”.

She said: “We believe a commitment to a substantial increase in numbers is required and urgently seek further details of how civilians, especially women, girls and others in need of refuge will be protected.”

The Independent is backing calls for the government to be far more ambitious in its plan to resettle those at risk of losing their lives amid the Taliban takeover after western troops withdrew.

Our Refugees Welcome campaign, originally launched during the 2015 migrant crisis, calls for the government to offer sanctuary to as many Afghans as possible and for local authorities and charities devoted to their welfare to be given the strongest of support.

Additional reporting by PA

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