How can RIBA Chartered Practices provide job support for Ukrainian refugees?

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Many RIBA members and practices have expressed their desire to provide practical assistance to architects and students of architecture, fleeing the invasion of Ukraine. For further information about RIBA’s response, see: Ukraine crisis – latest guidance

From Thursday 24 March 2022, RIBA Jobs is providing free job postings to any RIBA Chartered Practice, who wish to offer employment opportunities for displaced architects or architectural students. This could be either a job, such as architectural assistant, or apprenticeship role. See Refugee Job Support category on RIBA Jobs’ home page.

RIBA will engage with the Architects Council of Europe (ACE) to help identify displaced architects and students from Ukraine and promote opportunities for them on their social media channels.

RIBA’s refugee job support will also extend to chartered practices offering positions and accommodation to people on other refugee settlement programmes. Further details on such schemes are available from the Refugee Council.

Essential parts of the job offer for refugees

Integral to any job offer is the provision of free accommodation for an initial six-month period, in line with the UK government's 'Homes for Ukraine' scheme. Also see: Homes for Ukraine scheme: frequently asked questions.

All roles must be remunerated in accordance with RIBA Chartered Practice requirements. For instance, the practice must ensure that at least The Living Wage, as set by the Living Wage Foundation is paid for all roles, including those of apprentices and architectural students.

Practices will need to be prepared to actively engage in the scheme application process. For further information see: UK visa support for Ukrainian nationals - GOV.UK

What else is there to consider as a sponsoring practice?

It is important that before advertising a role that you think through all the employment implications and duty of care and training responsibilities for your new employee. See this very useful article: ‘Homes for Ukraine’: What does HR need to know about hiring refugees?

Employers still need to do right-to-work checks on their new employee. As this is an area that is moving quickly for Ukrainians coming to the UK, you will need to check current Home Office advice: Right to work checks: an employer's guide - GOV.UK

Training, onboarding and support will have to be adapted to the current needs of the refugee. Bear in mind that both the educational and professional context is very different in Ukraine to the UK. A dedicated and experienced line manager may need to be allocated more time to spend with their new report, so you need to be sure your practice and the team in which they are placed have the necessary capacity to provide support even during busy periods.

Does your practice have access to external resources, such as English language teaching or a qualified counsellor, that the new employee might require?

What to include in your posting for refugee job support?

  • Concisely describe your practice: its size, expertise and values. Include URL for your website.
  • Location: where will the role be based. Is it office, hybrid or home-based working? Is there flexibility around this?
  • Role: outline the position and skills and knowledge required.
  • Accommodation: describe the type and location of accommodation you are offering. In a shared house or separate living place? Suitable for an individual or family? What timescale is it to be provided for? (It must be for a minimum of 6 months.)
  • Salary: what salary are you offering? All positions, including those for student and apprentices, need to meet the living wage.
  • Call to action: is there a deadline for candidates? What information do you want to receive from candidates when they first contact you? Is there going to be an online interview process?
  • Contact details

How to contact RIBA Jobs to place an advertisement?

To place a free advertisement for refugee job support, please contact, Rupesh Vara, Job Board Sales Manager at RIBA Jobs: Rupesh.vara@riba.org.

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