Talent Beyond Boundaries - Linking the global labor market to a new talent pool

Talent Beyond Boundaries is creating a pathway to help skilled people displaced from their home countries find work and self-reliance through international employment opportunities. We are linking with employers who can use work visas to bring talented refugees to fill skill gaps, particularly in the developing world. Although humanitarian leaders and academics increasingly recognize that labor mobility can help displaced individuals lead productive self-sufficient lives, to date there has been no effective effort to connect this talent pool to private sector employers who recruit globally.

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Talent Beyond Boundaries is developing pilot projects in cooperation with key international agencies to demonstrate that the private sector can play a valuable role in helping refugees and their families. Officials at the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the United States Department of State, members of the United State Senate, and academic leaders at the Centre for Refugee Studies at Oxford University have also expressed support for this concept. Currently, Talent Beyond Boundaries is preparing to map the skills among the refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. The data collection will be done using a web application to ask for information about refugees’ employment experience, credentials, education, and language capabilities. Pilot projects will then be developed with multinational corporate partners to match qualified refugee employees to their job requirements. The pilots will include developing systems for skills verification, employment matching, and the provision of travel documents.

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Around the world countries face significant skill gaps in the local workforce. Employers operating in these regions must bring in talent from abroad to address this challenge. A recent survey of 41,700 hiring managers in 42 countries found that 38 percent of employers worldwide are having trouble filling jobs.

Millions of people are displaced from their homes, having fled war and terror. A large number of them are educated and skilled workers who are not allowed to work legally in countries where they have sought refuge. As a result, the talents of this population are going to waste.

Talent Beyond Boundaries is creating a pathway to help skilled people displaced from their home countries find work and self-reliance through international employment opportunities. We are linking with employers who can use work visas to bring talented refugees to fill skill gaps, particularly in the developing world. Although humanitarian leaders and academics increasingly recognize that labor mobility can help displaced individuals lead productive self-sufficient lives, to date there has been no effective effort to connect this talent pool to private sector employers who recruit globally.

Providing talented and skilled refugees with global employment will enable refugees to provide for themselves and their families. Humanitarian assistance can be better focused on those who are unable to support themselves. Employers with hard-to-fill jobs will benefit from an untapped talent pool. Communities in the receiving countries will gain talented workers who contribute to the completion of essential development projects, bring diverse skills to the workforce, and bolster local economies. Furthermore, through international employment, refugees can continue to enhance their careers and gain new skills that are valuable for post-conflict economic recovery.  

As aid to refugees dwindles, families run out of savings, and parents are left with no choice but to cross perilous Mediterranean waters with their children, the world must develop innovative approaches to offer meaningful solutions for refugees. Labor mobility should be a crucial element of the comprehensive approach to supporting and empowering refugees. Beginning in the Middle East, our goal is to create a viable private sector solution for refugees around the globe.

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Think about engaging people in small gatherings around how to do this in their communities, inter-generationally -- if the Global Co Lab Network can help, let us know. See www.globalcolab.net. We are working to link teens globally together around their dreams, at www.teensdream.net