Displaced Talent Initiative
Gain a talented new employee and demonstrate your corporate values
The challenges facing skilled refugees
There are thousands of highly skilled refugees who are living a precarious existence while waiting for resettlement. This group includes hundreds of Afghan judges and lawyers. Under Taliban rule women are unable to work in professional roles and people who advocated for human rights or worked within the legal system are in danger and seeking safe routes to leave Afghanistan.
Except in a limited range of circumstances, it is very difficult for skilled refugees to obtain visas to come to the UK. In 2021, only 1,587 people were granted protection through resettlement schemes in the UK. Thousands of highly skilled refugees with excellent qualifications need complementary pathways for resettlement.
A clearer route for skilled refugees to come to the UK is through skilled worker visas. Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) is a global organisation that matches skilled refugees with employers. In the UK, TBB is working with the UK government on the Displaced Talent Mobility Pilot, which reduces the administrative burden in hiring displaced talent and the visa processing time.
- Free priority processing;
- Case management support to overcome administrative barriers such as accessing passports or travel documents, employment references, and tax records;
- Access to safeguards in the event that they lose their job to ensure they are not returned to a country where they may face danger;
- As with other international skilled workers, TBB candidates will be entitled to a five year Skilled Worker Visa, and then Indefinite Leave to Remain (providing criteria is met).
Employers, working collaboratively and with the support of TBB will recruit displaced talent into paralegal or other business services roles. In addition to creating legal pathways to a safe country, the initiative also increases the diversity of the legal sector. We launched Cohort 1 in late 2022 and three law firms (Ashurst, DLA Piper, Fragomen) welcomed the first group of displaced lawyers in early 2023. We are now recruiting for Cohort 2 with placements starting in spring 2024.
How DLA Piper is helping
DLA Piper had a relationship with three young Afghan lawyers who contacted the firm in August 2021 to say that their lives were at risk. As there was no clear visa route for these individuals, the firm offered all three paralegal roles at our legal delivery centre in Leeds. They have now arrived in the UK and are already exceeding expectations in their new roles.
How the process works
By hiring through TBB, businesses can gain a talented employee whilst demonstrating their corporate values and achieving a positive humanitarian outcome.
We provide a full remote recruitment service:
Costs for employers
The overall cost of hiring a skilled refugee from overseas is comparable with that of any normal international hire.
Recruitment Costs = NIL
TBB is a philanthropically funded nonprofit organisation.
We do not charge employers a fee for the services that we provide as part of the hiring and settlement process.
Visa-related Costs = £5k-£10k (Average)
Visa costs payable include:
• Visa charges for the candidate (ie. the primary applicant)
• Visa charges for the candidate's spouse and children (if applicable)
Employers will also need to cover any migration agent fees.
Total cost will be dependent on size and circumstances of the chosen candidate and their family.
Relocation Costs = Standard Rates
Businesses are expected to offer TBB candidates the same relocation package they would any comparable international hire.
At a minimum, employers should be prepared to cover:
Flights for the candidate
Flights for the candidate's spouse and children (if applicable). Temporary accommodation upon arrival (we recommend 3 months or 1 month with support for a deposit). Local settlement support (if required).
Contact and participating organisations
For additional information or any other queries please contact Olivia Clark - Olivia.Clark@dlapiper.com
The organisations participating in the initiative are DLA Piper, Ashurst, Dechert and Fragomen.