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Beyond a ‘one-size-fits-all’ labour market policy for Resettled refugees: notes from Bute

What is unique about Bute’s methods for supporting refugees?

In Scotland, there are a number of organisations which specialise in supporting refugees’ access to the labour market, including the Bridges Programme, the Scottish Refugee Council, and Radiant and Brighter.  Entrepreneurial support is also provided by Business Gateway, though stakeholders reported high degree of localised variation in refugee specialisms.  Until 2015, the focus of this support sector was predominantly on Glasgow, which had accommodated Dispersal-pathway asylum seekers and refugees since 1999.

Following the  announcement of the (then) Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme in 2015, in which all 32 local authorities in Scotland volunteered to participate, this precedent significantly changed, not only in terms of the variety and geographical scope of locations in which displaced migrants lived – locations which came with very different challenges and opportunities to Glasgow’s highly-populated, urban, third-sector dominated environment – but also in terms of the different governance dynamics of the Resettlement Scheme.


The Bute team’s methods for supporting Resettled individuals into the labour market goes against several accepted norms for refugee ‘integration’. The Bute approach highlights that it is not Resettled individuals’ English language ability that prevents labour market access, but rather policies and norms that link labour market entry to unnecessarily high or formalised English language expectations.

Continue reading at Glimer’s Blog

About the authors

GLIMER – Governance and the Local Integration of Migrants and Europe’s Refugees- consists of partners from Italy and Cyprus (two landing points for many refugees as they first enter the EU) and the UK and Sweden (two countries seen as final destinations for recent arrivals), and the cases focus on new arrivals in the areas in and around Cosenza, Nicosia, Glasgow and Malmo respectively. The GLIMER consortium is made up of leading researchers trained in Law, Political Science, Social Work, Sociology and Social Policy. Each team possesses a demonstrable expertise across the humanities and social sciences, including in the support of a number of interdisciplinary research centers at participating institutions.

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Photo by E. Hill 2019