Employment support hub opens its doors

A new service with education and employment supports for refugees, those seeking asylum and migrants, and for employers building inclusive cultures was launched recently.

Pathways to Progress is a programme of the Open Doors Initiative, an organisation supporting marginalised groups to access further education, employment and entrepreneurship in Ireland and was recently launched by Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.

He said: “We are now one of the most diverse countries in Europe, with approximately 1 in 8 of our population made up of people who have to come from other countries to live and work here.

“The wealth of knowledge, skills and experience that migrants bring to Ireland makes a massive contribution to the delivery of our public services and to the overall competitiveness of the Irish economy.

“We have a long history of migration as Irish people, and we instinctively understand how important it is to help people as they integrate into a new society.

“This new programme will play a significant role in nurturing the full participation of migrants and I welcome its targeted focus on equipping migrants, refugees and those seeking asylum to find a job and in supporting employers to be welcoming and inclusive. We will all be stronger for it.”

Francesca McDonagh, Bank of Ireland CEO and Chair of Open Doors Initiative said: “Coming from a family with a refugee and immigrant background, I know how important access to good employment is in building a new life in a new country. As an employer, I know how critical it is to a thriving business to have a diverse, creative workforce, with talented, vibrant, and inspiring people from all backgrounds shaping the organisation.”

Jeanne McDonagh, CEO of Open Doors Initiative said: “Ireland is now home to people from all over the world.

“Their routes to Ireland are different, but key to their integration and success in Ireland is the chance for a meaningful job or to establish a new business. Some are refugees, some are living in Direct Provision, some will have their status newly regularised, and others will come directly for work.

“Many migrants are marginalised, underemployed or find it difficult to access quality employment. Our new migrant hub and initiatives such as our mentoring programmes and internships are designed to tackle these issues. This latest initiative also builds on the successes of previous Open Doors Initiative programmes that support access to work for people from often marginalised groups through a unique partnership between our member companies and supporting organisations across the NGO sector,” added McDonagh.