Submission to the Greater London Authority consultation on Adult Education
A key focus of the Helen Bamber Foundation's (HBF) work is addressing the needs and risks of individual survivors of trafficking and the factors that can leave them more susceptible to being re-trafficked. HBF believes that access to appropriate education, training and employment is a vital part of the fight to prevent re-trafficking and to enable survivors to rebuild their lives.
Another area of significant concern to us is the impact of high backlogs and delays in decision making on survivors in the asylum system and the impact this has on their integration after arrival. In this context, it is all the more important that those seeking asylum who do not have the right to work have access to educational opportunities instead and that there is sufficient use, and understanding of, the current Adult Education Budget regulations.
We would like to see the acquisition of English language and other basic skills seen as a priority and that further steps are taken to address the structural and financial barriers that often prevent survivors from participating in learning. Asylum seekers who have not been waiting for six months for a decision are currently not eligible for free courses. However, the integration process should begin as soon as they arrive in the UK. For those who are recognised as refugees after arriving in the UK, their long-term ability to integrate within their new communities will depend on their experiences throughout the asylum process.
This briefing, submitted to the Greater London Authority in response to its consultation on the draft Adult Education Roadmap, draws on HBF’s experience of supporting clients access education and work and also the direct views of 17 HBF clients. Of those clients, 12 were in the asylum system, 5 had form of leave and 11 were in education.