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ATLAS Scotland 2 - Action for Training and Learning for Asylum Seekers

Partnership information




Scotland continues to see the biggest demographic change since 1945 and although Scotland has a tradition of welcoming refugees this scale of influx has placed wide ranging demands on all major public and private services not least education and employment services.

Currently more than 50% of asylum seekers coming to Scotland have degree level qualifications, a high proportion (over 50%) will receive a ‘positive decision’, and many positive decisions are processed in a fairly short period of time a few weeks-3 months. The language infrastructure for tuition/translation etc is still underdeveloped in Scotland and continues to need considerable support to cope with the number and diversity of asylum seekers.  

The statistics show unemployment rates higher than the UK average with particular concentrations of unemployment in urban and peripheral housing estates. These are the communities in which asylum seekers are being housed. There are growth opportunities in the economy including optoelectronics, semiconductor, finance, tourism, hospitality and service sector and construction, but low educational attainment and lack of mobility are drag factors for continued economic growth and current residents entering the job market. The social inclusion agenda is a particular priority for the Scottish Parliament and considerable investment has been made in Social Inclusion Partnerships to address local issues and find local solutions.  


To undertake integration work with a focus on developing models of good practice.  The Atlas activites cover:

  • The point of arrival of an asylum seeker in Scotland
  • Access to appropriate information
  • Orientation programmes
  • ESOL
  • Educational opportunities
  • Employability schemes
  • to undertake activities that will enable asylum seekers to play more active role in society and to enable those who become refugees to gain more rapid transition to the labour market.
  • to develop and test new methodologies, products and systems to ensure a co-ordinated, partnership approach to deliver a holistic service to asylum seekers. 
  • to contribute towards an employment strategy for Asylum Seekers

Target Groups

All asylum seekers in Scotland, although the majority of the activity has been taking place in Glasgow.




Round 1 to Round 2

Although some projects build on the work of Round 1, there are many that represent completely new directions.

Transnational partnerships


Dawn Corbett, Glasgow City Council,


Action 2: 31 March 2008
Action 3: 31 March 2008

Equal theme

Asylum seekers


In 2001, Glasgow City Council (GCC) signed a contract with the Home Office to take asylum seekers. Individual asylum seekers face complex and interrelated barriers to entering the job market. In general, however, the most common are language, health, poverty education and discrimination. These are well documented by agencies such as the Refugee Council etc. This partnership came together to build on the work undertaken in Round One in particular to ensure that highly qualified individuals are encouraged to remain in Scotland to help to meet some of the higher level skill shortages in the health, teaching and engineering professions.


Asylum seekers, People from disadvantaged areas (top 10% most deprived wards)
Total beneficiaries: 790

Intended impact/ sustainability

Local organisations will have gained the capacity and knowledge base better to support asylum seekers beyond the life of the project. Also, asylum seeker communities will have been empowered to provide self help rather than rely on other services. The impact will be to support the integration of asylum seekers into the community and  into Glasgow as a whole.  There will be proven ways of being able to offer purposeful activity e.g. volunteering to give some exposure to the labour market in anticipation of a positive outcome to a request for asylum.

Scatter plot

Process X X
Practice X
Product X
Policy X
City Local Regional National European


Community cohesion work in local communities within Glasgow


Asylum positive images project run by Oxfam at practitioner level so can be used nationwide (Scotland)


As a result of Atlas project the Access centre now has bilingual workers. The translating services now uses trained asylum seeker volunteers to avoid communication difficulties.


TCA products common to all partners


Scottish Universities short term waiving of fees. Long term need to lobby Scottish executive to provide continuation of HE funding for asylum seekers

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Activities and products

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