The Refugee Better Outcomes Partnership supports refugees with their transition out of asylum accommodation and into the community.
Social issueRefugee integration
Focus areaSocial outcomes
Investment typeOutcomes contract
Refugees face multiple barriers to self-sufficiency in the UK, including high levels of unemployment, lack of access to stable housing, mental health challenges including trauma, low levels of English language skills and limited social connections. Prior to Covid-19, refugee employment levels were 20% lower than for the wider UK population, and 30% lower for refugee women compared with UK-born women.
Bridges Outcomes Partnerships created Refugee Better Outcomes Partnership (RBOP) to support refugees with integration and employment via two outcomes partnerships, one in Plymouth and one across the North-East (RISE).
On receiving a positive decision from the Home Office on their refugee status, a refugee has 28 days before he or she is evicted from asylum accommodation. Starting from the point of a positive decision RBOP provides housing, employment and integration support to a refugee, supporting their transition out of asylum accommodation and into the community.
Bridges Outcomes Partnerships is a not-for-profit social enterprise which works with Government, community groups and specialist partners to improve public service delivery, by focussing on achieving positive outcomes for individuals. For the Refugees Better Outcomes Partnership, they were successful in securing outcomes funding from the Refugee Transitions Outcome Fund, a £14m pot of funding commissioned and led by the Home Office alongside DCMS and DWP (via the Treasury Shared Outcomes Fund). The aim of the fund is to support refugees that have come through the asylum process, in areas with a high asylum seeker rate.
Because Refugee Better Outcomes Partnership (RBOP) is an outcomes-based contract, the Home Office only pays when measurable improvements are achieved for individuals. In the case of Refugee Better Outcomes Partnership (RBOP), this would be when newly granted refugees experience improved integration within the community, such as securing housing and employment.
RBOP’s services help to secure accommodation for refugees either by supporting them to find social housing or to access private sector accommodation. They empower refugees to build social connections and to integrate within the community, with a focus on improving their level of English. RBOP also supports the refugees with employer engagement and training, working towards the long-term goal of helping each individual into secure employment that matches their career aspiration. RBOP launched in late 2021, and to date 1164 refugees have started the programme, above the original target of 780. Over 1000 have now completed integration plans. 577 refugees have secured accommodation and 251 have already entered into employment, with many more working towards these outcomes The project is expected to delivery more outcomes than the original outcomes cap, delivering an estimated £750k of additional value to government.