When working with refugees the teaching paradigm is focused on language acquisition and employability, where the training provider considers themselves to be the “expert” and the refugee as a “special need”. As a consequence, training programmes are often designed from the perspective of the training providers’ “expert” analysis of the refugee’s needs, rather than the refugee learners’ needs themselves. With this approach, refugees are destined to a future working in entry level jobs, where 75% will remain under-employed and caught in the poverty trap.
On Thursday 22nd June our Business Development Manager, Richard Thickpenny, presented on this topic to the FE Week Festival of Skills at Wellington College in Berkshire. The FE Week Festival of Skills runs alongside The Telegraph Festival of Education at Wellington College, now in its eighth year and attracting over 5,000 attendees.
Our session looked at how co-design of curriculum, focused on developing labour market competencies, results in increased retention, higher quality outcomes and increased learner impact, showing how training providers can, and should, rethink refugee in further education; as individuals who are candidates for higher level courses and continuing professional development, not just ESOL for survival.