What is the role?
The volunteer role will be part of the Working English North West project and the Gateway Resettlement Programme. Both initiatives are aimed at addressing the challenges faced by refugees who have just been granted their immigration status, and increasing their employability and integration. The Working English Project supports those granted status having been through the UK asylum process, whilst the Gateway Programme supports people that have been resettled to the UK following a period of time living in a refugee camp.
Mentors will support refugees to improve their knowledge of, and access to the UK job market, advance their English levels and assist them to become job ready.
The role involves providing one to one mentoring to individuals who need extra support to establish and reach their employability and English language goals.
What is the time commitment?
- We would ideally like volunteers who can commit to a half day per week or equivalent, during week days. This allows for time to meet with learners (approximately 1 hour/week) travel and prep time. Ideally this time would be within office hours (9:30am-5:30pm) but there are some limited spaces for evening volunteers.
- You will ideally commit for 12 months from the point of application. Mentoring can last between 3-9 months, depending on the individual’s goals.
- Volunteers are required to attend training sessions during the week commencing 20 May 2019. These will be full day training sessions.
- To offer support, and ensure quality and consistency, attendance at regular supervision meetings will be necessary (approx. 1 hour every 8-10 weeks). These meetings will be either 1-1 or group, and face-to-face or over the phone.
Will I receive training and support?
You will receive:
- One day induction training session; one day comprehensive role specific training and access to other training opportunities as they arise
- Development of skills while undertaking your volunteering role
- Regular support and supervision
- Re-imbursement of expenses, including travel costs and meal allowances
- A reference for work or study
Where would I be based?
Training and supervision sessions will be held in Refugee Action’s Manchester office, based in Hulme. Mentoring meetings will take place at public places across Greater Manchester (such as community centres, libraries and café’s) as agreed between you and the learner.
What are the main duties?
- Assist the Project Coordinator to develop a learning plan for each participant.
- Prepare activities for the learner to develop their employability and English language. This could include assisting learners to: visit a Jobs Fairs; look for work and volunteer roles; complete applications; prepare for interviews; create a CV; find and enrol on a course; get qualifications recognised, research routes into a specific career, source work experience, develop career-specific language or language for interviews, etc.
- Hold 1-1 weekly meetings with learners.
- Maintain regular 2-way contact with project staff keeping them informed and updated.
- Keep accurate records of all meetings.
What skills are we looking for?
- Good general understanding of UK employment market, recruitment processes, job application and interview techniques, work context and culture.
Good research skills and willingness to develop new skills and knowledge (e.g. ability to find out about routes into various careers; courses and entry requirements, etc.)
- Good written and verbal communication in English (i.e. to communicate in an accurate, brief and clear manner in English to be understood by individuals whose first language isn’t English; to keep accurate records of meetings; to engage in active listening).
Willingness to complete tasks on own initiative and volunteer independently.
- Understanding of and commitment to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers.
- Ability to provide support to people who might be emotionally vulnerable and to maintain boundaries.
- A positive approach to working in a multi-cultural setting and understanding of cultural diversity.
- Ability to volunteer within approaches and guidelines of confidentiality, safeguarding, equal opportunities and empowerment.
- Basic IT skills (i.e. ability to type and send word documents by email; communicate via email; produce and edit/format Word documents, for example, to help a client create a learning plan/CV).
- We expect commitment, punctuality, organisational skills and reliability from all our volunteers. You will be required to journey plan and arrive at appointments on time.
We are committed to making every reasonable adjustment to the workplace or working arrangements to accommodate people with disabilities.
We ask for two references from all our volunteers. This role also requires a DBS (criminal records) check at enhanced level.
Applicants must be 18 years or older. Refugee Action welcomes applications from asylum seekers and refugees