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Minister Stanton announces extended funding for female refugee employment projects

Mr David Stanton T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration has announced extended funding, worth almost €500,000 under the Dormant Accounts Fund, for 7 projects working on the labour market integration of female refugees.

These projects provide a platform for intensive, tailored interventions that address the specific barriers to employment for female refugees. The focus is on improving their employability through skills development, education and training and supports to access the labour market. The funding will allow the projects to progress their work for a second year.

Minister Stanton said: “Employment is a powerful driver of integration. Getting a job is key to social inclusion and a sense of belonging. These programmes support their participants in taking that vital step and enabling them to contribute to Irish life.”
Refugees, in particular, face barriers to the labour market over and above those encountered by other migrants. The forced nature of their migration and the traumatic experiences frequently associated with it may lead to long employment gaps in CVs due to refugees’ migration journey and the asylum process also present obstacles for refugees seeking work.
Two of the projects funded under this programme are:

· Roscommon Integrated Development Company which runs a project working with refugee women who are resident in the Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre (EROC) in Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon, as well as those who are newly resettled in Co. Roscommon. This is a collaborative project with input from a broad range of local stakeholders.

· Westmeath Community Development runs an employability project working with Syrian communities in Athlone and Mullingar. This project provides training, guidance, and employment supports, including one-to-one mentoring over a twelve month period to facilitate access to the labour market.

This initiative is just one of the funding programmes that Minister Stanton has made available under the Migrant Integration Strategy 2017-2020. In 2017, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration granted €9.7 million to 40 national and 31 regional projects to support integration over the next three to four years, with both EU and Irish Government funding. Projects are aimed at promoting inclusion, employability, education, combating racism and xenophobia and increasing mutual understanding between migrants and their host communities.

Note for Editors:

· The national Migrant Integration Strategy – A Blueprint for the Future, is a cross-governmental strategy that includes 76 actions and runs until 2020. The Strategy is available at the following link:

· Dormant Accounts Fund: Measure 4 – Pre-activation Supports for Female Refugees and the Female Family Members of Refugees is administered by Pobal on behalf of OPMI. It is worth €500,000 per year. Seven projects are operating under this programme:
o Cultúr Celebrating Diversity
o Irish Refugee Council
o NASC (the Irish Immigrant Support Centre)
o Robert Emmet Community Development
o Roscommon Integrated Development
o SEDCo Social Enterprise Development
o Westmeath Community Development
These were selected via open competitive call in 2017 and are nearing the end of their first year of implementation. Today’s announcement extends their funding for a second year. The exact amount allocated is €485,018

Other integration Funding Programmes administered by the Department of Justice & Equality/the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration:
· National Funding to Promote the Integration of Immigrants. In 2017, 15 multi-annual projects were selected following an open call for proposals under this Programme, which is worth a total of €1.9 million over three years.
· The Communities Integration Fund is a small grant scheme established in 2017, €500,000 was made available for open call proposals (133 projects received funding of up to €5,000). It was repeated in 2018 (115 projects) and is due to run in 2019.
· EU Asylum Migration and Integration funding of €4.5 million is supporting 20 integration projects over the period 2017-2019.
· European Social Fund integration funding of €3.3 million is supporting 5 migrant employability projects over the period 2017-2020.