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Consultancy - Refugee Employment Platform UK


  • Organization: UNHCR - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
  • Location: London
  • Grade: Consultancy - International Consultant - Internationally recruited Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Communication and Public Information
    • Labour Market Policy
    • Refugee rights and well-being
  • Closing Date: Closed

Hardship Level (not applicable for home-based)

H (no hardship)

Family Type (not applicable for home-based)


Staff Member / Affiliate Type

CONS Local

Target Start Date


Job Posting End Date

September 26, 2023

Terms of Reference

Applicants must have a right to work in the UK. Please do not apply if you do not have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the consultancy. Please clearly state in your application the details of your right to work in the UK, as we are not able to sponsor visas.

3. Duration and dates of the assignment:
From: 1/10/2023 To: 31/12/2023

Total amount of days/weeks/months to be worked: 12 weeks

4. Location(s) (specify if working from home): 50% on site (UNHCR UK office, REN office) 50% home-based

5. Assignment and/or Mission travel applicable : Not Applicable .

6. Suggested fee (daily/weekly/monthly/lump sum) and currency:
Total budgetary amount allocated for individual contract (incl. travel and DSA etc.): 14 466 pounds

Payment schedule: 35% (approval product 2), 65% (approval product 3)

7. General Background of Project or Assignment:

As of mid-June 2023, UNHCR estimates some 6.3 million refugees from Ukraine arrived in Europe and other destination countries with over 5.9 million recorded in European states alone. Although a wide range of public and private channels and formats for job seeking may be available, recent consultations indicate these are falling short when it comes to supporting refugees to secure decent employment. Evidenced particularly by the Ukraine situation, many refugees continue to face barriers related to scarcity of job offers, inefficient information channels, skills mismatching, and lack of access to support services essential to maintaining stable employment.

Capitalizing on the private sector’s keen interest in supporting access to employment for refugees displaced by the international armed conflict in Ukraine, the Refugee Employment Platform (REP) aims to enhance decent work prospects for refugees of all nationalities throughout Europe. While many companies have supported innovative multi-stakeholder initiatives for refugee employment in the past, lessons learned have demonstrated that more can be done to better link the job supply and demand side, particularly via closer collaboration with HR industry leaders. The platform will ensure the widest possible dissemination of job/vocational training opportunities for refugees, connect with different job matching sites and employment support services, and serve as an entry point for companies, refugees and other relevant actors engaged in refugee socio-economic inclusion, ensuring a whole-of-society approach both on and offline.

The model for the platform is being developed based on the experiences of pilot countries identified by UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Europe in coordination with its country operations, who have identified existing in-country employment platforms to build upon and align with the REP concept. The REP concept privileges, among other characteristics: the inclusion of refugees throughout the design, development and implementation phase; the use of job matching systems based on the models of HR industry leaders; facilitating easy access to curated wraparound services targeted to refugees’ circumstances; conveying information on refugee work rights/documentation to employers in clear, non-technical language; and the generation of data so as to continually improve understanding of the skills profiles of refugees and the labor needs of businesses.

The UK has been prioritized as one of the countries in Europe for developing the Platform. Refugees in the UK face significant challenges to employment: A report by the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford in 2019 showed that refugees are less likely to be in employment that the UK-born and migrant population, with 51% of refugees in employment compared to 73% for UK nationals. A more recent report published by Refugee Council in 2022, found that 58% of refugee respondents were in employment, compared to the 75.5% UK employment rate at the time of the survey. UNHCR in the UK, as well as other organizations working in the field have conducted studies throughout the years to identify common barriers that make it harder for refugees to find work in the UK The most cited in the last years include: i) lack of English language knowledge and difficulty accessing language classes; ii) issues with recognition of overseas qualification and skills: iii) unfamiliarity with the UK labour market and job-seeking practices: iv) Lack of UK work experience and of personal/social networks; v) Public and employer perceptions of refugees, including bias from employers and lack of familiarity with refugee’s right to work: vi) Mental or physical health issues; Family/care responsibilities; vii) Practical barriers, including limited access to childcare, transport costs and accommodation.

The Refugee Employment Network

UNHCR’s partner in the UK for the Refugee Employment Platform initiative is the Refugee Employment Network (REN) brings together over 360 businesses, non-profits and local authorities to ensure refugees in the UK have access to paid work or self-employment opportunities. This is achieved by connecting refugees to employers and employment service providers through a refugee-focused national jobs board, mentoring programmes, jobs fairs, and by providing advice and guidance on refugee employment as well as by building relationships with policy and decision-makers.

8. Occupational Safety and Health Considerations

To view occupational safety and health considerations for specific duty stations, please visit this link:

Specific Occupational Safety and Health Considerations to this assignment (if applicable):


9. Overall Purpose and Scope of Assignment:
Concise and detailed description of activities, including measurable outputs and delivery dates, impact indicators (what qualitative and quantitative results would be achieved upon completion of individual contract), performance indicators (time lines, value of the service rendered in relation to the cost, timeliness) and work plan:

Overall purpose and scope of consultancy: Carry out detailed mapping of current and potential stakeholders as part of platform scale-up and enhancement/expansion of job matching functions and wrap around services.

Major duties and responsibilities:

The Consultant will work closely with the Refugee Employment Network under the supervision of UNHCR and is expected to fulfil the following key tasks and responsibilities:

• Drawing on the current private sector networks of REN, UNHCR and its partners, support the development of a nation-wide network expansion plan of business outreach activities for the scale-up of the platform.

• Map current and potential contribution of stakeholders within the platform ecosystem and/or engaged in refugee socioeconomic inclusion as well as that of their collaborators/allies.

• Carry out desk review, interviews and focus group discussions to identify main tendencies in refugees’ employment profiles, skills and qualifications.

• Support identifying programs, contributing partners and service providers which could be linked to the platform, thus increasing its efficiency, and providing a more comprehensive response for refugees (language skills, legal support, pre-employment support, employment support, vocational training, intercultural training, soft and hard skills).

• Map current communication channels which can be used to disseminate information amongst refugees about the platform.

• Identify most readily available and suitable employment opportunities for the refugee population.

• Map out initiatives relating to suitable national employment that could complement platform features.

• Identify additional and enhanced content that needs to be included in the website information.

Expected results and deliverables:

The consultancy is proposed for a period of 12 weeks and includes the following expected results:

Product 1 – Work Plan and Desk Review Report (End of Week 2)
Product 2 – Ecosystem mapping (programs, contributing partners and service providers) (End of Week 6)
Product 3 - Business outreach plan and summary of refugees’ profiles + final overall mapping (End of Week 12)

10. Required level, qualifications and work experience:
Level of responsibilities required (mark as appropriate) for individual contractors and fellows:

1 The assignment is for an Individual Consultant

Qualification and experience required (degree required, years of work experience, field of expertise, language required):

• Advanced university degree in social sciences, economics, business administration, communications, or other relevant technical fields.

• A minimum of 5 years of professional experience working in related field.

• Understanding of local integration context for refugees in the United Kingdom, Understanding of the employment sector in the United Kingdom.

• Experience working with private sector partnerships and/or non-voluntary organisations.

• Working knowledge of written and spoken English.

• Computer skills, including Internet navigation and various office applications.

• Relevant experience in similar activities, other UN agencies or development.

Applicants must have a right to work in the UK. Please do not apply if you do not have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the consultancy. Please clearly state in your application the details of your right to work in the UK, as we are not able to sponsor visas.

11. Monitoring and Progress Controls (report requirements, periodicity, format, deadlines):
a. The final product (e.g. survey completed, data collected, workshop conducted, research documents produced specify):
b. Work on the basis of time employed: Yes 0 No 0

c. If it is to result in a written product specify:
a. Number of pages:
b. Language(s):
c. Number of copies:

12. Supervisor of Project/Individual Contract (Name and title): Stephanie Wauthier Albrand.


Standard Job Description

Required Languages



Desired Languages



Additional Qualifications




Work Experience

Other information

Total amount of days/weeks/months to be worked: 12 weeks

Location(s) (specify if working from home): 50% on site (UNHCR UK office, REN office) 50% home-based.

Payment schedule: 35% (approval product 2), 65% (approval product 3)The English version is considered original and authoritative, translation to other language(s) serve the purpose of advertisement of local positions where applicable but are not considered as official translationsNot Applicable.This position doesn't require a functional clearance
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