Compelling news from the refugee and migrant sector
Print Friendly

Refugee kids make ideal employees

18 May 20170 comments

Students from refugee or disadvantaged backgrounds can make the best employees, according to new research from the UK.

Data collected by recruitment firm ‘Rare’ shows refugee children, far from being misfits or a drain on the state, actually have the highest average academic outperformance of any group of students.

Rare focuses on diversity and its founder and Managing Director Ralph Mokades says that this message is lost on politicians in the mainstream media.

Writing in the UK’s Independent newspaper Mr Mokades said: “Some politicians, especially during election campaigns, hint that people like this are taking advantage of Britain.”

“The evidence from our data is that, overall, refugees appreciate the opportunities offered by a life here and have plenty to give back,” Mr Mokades wrote.

“Thankfully, many of Britain’s top employers agree. We often hear that candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds are unusually resilient: they can be better at handling the challenges of demanding jobs,” he wrote.

Research by Rare found students from just ten (mostly private) schools in the UK applied for as many jobs at leading employers as all the students from the entire lowest performing 10 per cent of schools in the UK combined.

But the same data showed that refugee children, far from being misfits or a drain on the state, actually have the highest average academic outperformance of any group of students.

Rare compiles data to help recruiters understand not just the superficial facts of a candidate’s CV and exam results but also the socioeconomic circumstances in which they grew up, and the extent to which they may have overcome significant barriers along the way that others with the similar qualifications didn’t face.

“We have data on more than 100,000 job candidates, and we can use this to analyse the various categories of disadvantage – having been on free school meals, for example, or having spent time in care – against job applications and success rates,” Mr Mokades said.

“Our latest crunch of the data shows that refugee children achieve the highest average outperformance of any group in our sample,” he said.

“Everywhere, we see evidence of refugee children’s grit and determination. They are three times more likely than other students to switch to better schools.

“Nor do refugee children necessarily have the advantage of a strong family background. On the contrary, many had entered the UK unaccompanied by parents or other family members.

“The young refugees in our sample (some 600) were six times more likely than other care leavers to make applications to top firms,” he said.

“It may be that in the final reckoning it is actually less of a risk to hire candidates once seen as “unconventional”.

“That means the future is very bright for Britain’s young refugees. That’s a message that politicians should be sharing,” Mr Mokades wrote.

 

Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist