KPMG, partnering with the Refugee Council, helps refugees through its mentoring programme
Since 2005, KPMG has partnered with the Refugee Council UK to help refugees with experience working in the finance industry in their countries of origin overcome barriers to employment in the UK. It does this through a mentorship program which partners KPMG volunteers with refugees to guide them through the UK application and interview process and to assist them in writing CVs & practicing their interview techniques.
Refugees bring a wealth of skills and knowledge from a wide range of employment and cultural backgrounds. Often, however, the UK labour market is inaccessible to them, despite clear skills shortages and gaps in the market. The KPMG volunteer coaching program aims to enable refugees to overcome barriers they face in their search for employment including lack of relevant UK work experience, unfamiliarity with UK work culture, inadequate communication and presentation skills and qualifications that may not be transferable.
The program involves matching volunteer coaches – KPMG people with experience of the UK world of work – with refugees – job-ready and seeking assistance with job hunting. The refugees participating in the program are adults who are current or former participants on the Refugee Council employability mentoring program.
In 2005, working with refugees was a new volunteering program to the firm. The first mentoring program saw 108 staff expressing an interest in volunteering and 70 completing full training to volunteer – one of the highest responses received for any of the firms’ volunteering programs.
During the first year of the project, 22 refugees were supported by 37 KPMG volunteers. Since then, at least 13 of the participants have successfully gained employment after having taken part in the program.