New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy: Delivery Plan 2024-2026

This Delivery Plan sets out the actions that the Scottish Government, COSLA and Scottish Refugee Council will take forward with partners during the period 2024 to 2026 to support the integration of refugees, people seeking asylum and other forced migrants within Scotland’s communities.

Outcome 3: New Scots understand their rights, responsibilities and entitlements in Scotland and are able to exercise these to pursue full and independent lives. New Scots can pursue their ambitions through education, employment, culture and leisure activities in diverse communities.

Achieving progress towards personal ambitions requires an understanding of rights, how these apply in different situations and how to navigate new and complex systems. The findings of the community consultation with New Scots are clear, more support is needed to access information and advice on personal circumstances and on understanding how to navigate systems. New Scots face an increasingly complex immigration landscape, go through systems which lead to increased levels of homelessness and destitution, want to become confident English speakers and need to learn about requirements for practising their own profession or finding a job.

The actions under this outcome aim to develop the building blocks for New Scots to live independent and active lives. The Refugee Support Service and the Guardianship Service provide expert advice and advocacy support and will ensure New Scots can exercise their rights and access services they are entitled to. This will complement the support provided by Local Authorities and other support offered by third sector organisations in different areas.

The actions related to employment take account of addressing under-employment and unemployment and looking at ways to support people who want to be self-employed. The Scottish Government encourages employers to adopt Fair Work practices which includes practice to create diverse and inclusive workplaces and ensure appropriate channels for effective voice, payment of at least the real Living Wage and no inappropriate use of zero hours contracts.

Long-term Outcome 3 (5+years): New Scots understand their rights, responsibilities and entitlements in Scotland andare able to exercise these to pursue full and independent lives. New Scots can pursue their ambitions through education, employment,culture and leisure activitiesin diverse communities.

Activities planned for short term outcome

1: Lead

2: Other Partners

3: By when

Short term outcomes (1-2 years)

3.1 A National Helpline provides quick, free and confidential advice, information, short term casework and referrals to New Scots across Scotland and to practitioners supporting them.

1. Scottish Refugee Council - Refugee Support Service

3. 2024-2025

New Scots will receive tailored advice to resolve problems; and will be enabled to make informed decisions.

3.2 Provide casework and integration planning support including group sessions in a range of locations for refugees granted leave through

the asylum process to address needs and reach goals on integration indicators.

1. Scottish Refugee Council - Refugee Support Service

3. 2024-2025

New Scots living in Scotland will have greater agency, the knowledge and skills to take control of their own future and have support to advocate for their rights and options.

3.3 Provide complex casework support for people who have no recourse to public funds who are experiencing destitution.

  • 1. Scottish Refugee Council - Refugee Support Service
  • 2. Fair Way Scotland, local authorities, International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
  • 3. 2024-2025

People with no recourse to public funds in Scotland have access to advice and advocacy support to end destitution.

Learning and recommendations are fed back to the Scottish Government and COSLA for implementation and/or for escalation to UK Government.

3.4 Work with Scottish professional bodies to understand and promote recognition pathways for industries and identified sectors.

  • 1. Scottish Government (Asylum and Refugee Integration)
  • 2. Scottish Refugee Council, Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), SCQF Partnership, Bridges Programmes, qualifications bodies, Education Scotland, the Workers' Educational Association (WEA)
  • 3. 2024-2025

New Scots have access to better information to use their prior learning and qualification in Scotland.

3.5 Develop proposals for a Scottish Right to Work pilot for people seeking asylum, to be submitted for consideration to the UK Government.

  • 1. Scottish Government (Population and Migration)
  • 2. Working Group (including Scottish Refugee Council, Bridges Programmes, local authorities, academics and other relevant third sector organisations)
  • 3. 2024-2025

People in the asylum process have an increased probability of accessing employment.

3.6 Improve and enhance awareness of and access to employability support for New Scots.

  • 1. Scottish Local Authorities Economic Development (SLAED) People Group
  • 2. Local Employability Partnerships, New Scots, third sector organisations, Scottish Government (Employability; Asylum and Refugee Integration)
  • 3. Ongoing

New Scots have improved awareness of and access to employability support across Scotland.

3.7 Continue to provide a specialist guardianship service to all unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, victims of trafficking and children vulnerable to trafficking in Scotland, to:

  • Support young people to navigate trafficking, asylum, welfare, criminal justice and age assessment processes
  • Uphold children's rights and ensure decisions are taken in their best interests by listening to young people, advising and acting as advocates on their behalf
  • Build trusting relationships and support young people to make informed decisions about their future
  • Work collaboratively with other professionals to safeguard children
  • Provide practical and emotional support
  • 1. Guardianship Scotland
  • 2. Scottish Government (Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children), local authorities
  • 3. 2024-2025

All unaccompanied asylum seeking children, victims

of trafficking and children vulnerable to trafficking who arrive in Scotland receive specialist support to protect their best interests and uphold their rights.

3.8 Establish channels of support for New Scots considering or actively pursuing entrepreneurship, through our enterprise agencies and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

  • 1. Scottish Government (Entrepreneurship)
  • 2. Enterprise agencies
  • 3. Ongoing

New Scots in early stages of entrepreneurship are supported to develop their business ambitions.

3.9 Support New Scots to be reunited with their families including going through the UK family reunion visa application process.

  • 1. Scottish Government (Asylum and Refugee Integration), third sector partners
  • 2. COSLA, local authorities
  • 3. 2024-2025

Families are reunified and supported to integrate.



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