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ASSET UK - Asylum Seekers

Partnership information



The Asylum Seekers' Skills, Empowerment & Training (ASSET) UK Development Partnership developed and tested new ways of working to enable asylum seekers to live as independently and productively as they could in their given circumstances so that they were able to find meaningful employment in the UK once they received a positive decision on their status. At the same time the partnership addressed the need for developing quality infrastructures within the dispersal areas in the UK so that professionals and practitioners working with newly dispersed asylum seekers were better equipped to deliver services.


The partnership aimed to bring together voluntary and educational agencies working on a national level to develop improved ways of helping newly arrived asylum seekers dispersed into the regions in their process of social and vocational integration. The goal was to promote individual empowerment for asylum seekers by supporting their vocational and social integration needs.


  • Facilitate access to quality essential life resources/ orientation/ information: housing, health, credit, citizen information.

  • Provide access to job-related opportunities/resources.

  • Provide information about education, training and the labour market, advice, training, job-search assistance, and work placements.

  • Provide personal development opportunities.

  • Support personal acquisition of knowledge and skills: basic skills, ‘soft’ social interaction skills, communication, digital and vocational skills.

  • Offer opportunities to participate in society: working as a volunteer (active citizenship), joining an NGO or community group.

  • Offer opportunities to participate in project design, development or management.

The ASSET DP was UK wide, including Northern Ireland. The DP was set up to address the social and vocational integration needs of asylum seekers from ’day one’ to the time they get a decision and the period following that.

Core partners brought in expertise in adult learning, ESOL, literacy, basic skills, advice and guidance, careers advice and research. The partnership encompassed coverage of the sub national level refugee agencies, English regions, representatives of FE / HE sector.

Target Beneficiary Groups

The DP was set up as asylum seekers and refugees are amongst the most disadvantaged groups in the UK labour market. They faced multiple barriers to integration and employment which were clearly illustrated by research. These barriers included lack of recognition of skills and overseas qualifications, lack of adequate spoken and written English, lack of understanding of the work place and lack of good quality advice and information.



Transnational partnerships


Lynda Lawrence, British Refugee Council (BRC),

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Asylum seekers


Asylum seekers
Total beneficiaries: 933


  • A total of 675 placements were facilitated by the project in the UK.
  • Further information on impact is available in the final evaluation report.

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