Sheffield welcomes professionals from displaced backgrounds to its communities

30th October 2023

Talent Beyond Boundaries, along with Fragomen, support the recruitment and relocation processes to help displaced talent reach their full potential and establish themselves in a safe and dignified environment.

Skilled refugees and individuals from displaced backgrounds have a lot to offer to companies and our society. Talent Beyond Boundaries, along with Fragomen, supports the recruitment and relocation processes to help displaced talent reach their full potential and establish themselves in a safe and dignified environment.

Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) is the first global organisation of its kind whose mission is to build a world where displaced people can safely migrate for work, using their skills and professional experience to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose.

Since the start of the UK programme in 2021, TBB has successfully supported the relocation of hundreds of individuals to the UK, including 25 candidates and their direct dependants who are now living in Sheffield and the surrounding area. These are 25 stories of resilience and hope that now have a new place to call home and are contributing to their families, their communities and their new country.

Mehria’s success story - From Kabul to Sheffield

One of these stories comes from Mehria, an Afghan lawyer who had to flee Kabul in 2021 after the Taliban takeover. Leaving everything behind, including her extended family, she was determined to leverage her professional skills and education to find a better future, which is how she discovered the Displaced Talent Mobility Pilot and applied to TBB in hopes of finding job opportunities abroad. After applying and getting matched with a job opportunity with Fragomen, Mehria, her husband and two children crossed the border to Pakistan and flew to the UK.

Mehria and her family are settling into Sheffield well. At her new job, there are lots of opportunities for learning, good wellbeing support and supportive and friendly colleagues. She was impressed by Fragomen’s technology and thinks this will have a positive impact on her learning and development. Mehria is looking forward to growing professionally, and for her children to have a chance for a good education and access to many opportunities they otherwise would not have.

Mahrokh’s success story - From Kabul to Sheffield

Born in Afghanistan in 1997, Mahrokh Mirzayi is a dedicated advocate for human rights, women's rights, democracy, and freedom of speech. As a key member of the Women Core Group for Peace in Afghanistan in March 2020, she actively pushed for women's involvement in the peace process at both provincial and national levels, earning widespread recognition.

Beginning her journey with the Danish Refugee Council in 2016 and later joining IOM - UN Migration, Mahrokh assisted Afghan families seeking reunification in Germany. Progressing to a Senior Protection and Rule of Law Manager role with the IRC, she provided crucial support to refugees and vulnerable individuals.

In 2021, Mahrokh joined the IOM Protection Unit, focusing on aiding undocumented Afghan returnees, advocating for violated rights, and facilitating post-arrival assistance. Temporarily leaving Afghanistan due to the constraints imposed by the Taliban on women, she found support from TBB and is now an Immigration Paralegal at Fragomen, skillfully navigating UK immigration law.

Mahrokh's accomplishments extend to academia, where she completed her MBA in 2022. Her dedication to social justice and extensive experience position her as an invaluable asset in addressing complex challenges faced by communities.

Reflecting on her move to the UK, Mahrokh emphasized the profound positive impact on her family's lives. Living in Afghanistan exposed them to significant security risks, but in the UK, they now enjoy the freedom to practice their beliefs, security, freedom of movement, and equal rights, independent of gender considerations.

Encouraging other law firms to consider displaced talent, Mahrokh highlighted the universality of talent while acknowledging that opportunities do not always reflect this. She urged firms to actively create opportunities for displaced and at-risk talent, emphasizing the mutual enrichment gained by fostering inclusivity and resilience in the workplace. Mahrokh's personal experience as a displaced professional reinforces the value of opening doors to individuals seeking empowerment and life-changing opportunities.

A new home in Sheffield

Sheffield and South Yorkshire have continued to welcome the candidates warmly which has helped them successfully integrate into their new work lives, cities and local communities. With a range of backgrounds, most of them come from Afghanistan, Lebanon and Jordan, and are now working across industries, many of them in the healthcare sector, particularly in a number of NHS trusts in the region.

There are many stories like Mehria’s, some who have already found stability for themselves and their families, but so many others who are still waiting for an opportunity to use their skills to unlock a safer future.  We encourage employers in Sheffield and the surrounding areas to get in touch with our team if they would like to know more about hiring refugees and other displaced individuals with valuable skills.

About Fragomen

Fragomen is a leading firm dedicated to immigration services worldwide. The firm has 6,000 immigration professionals and support staff in more than 60 offices across the Americas, EMEA and Asia Pacific.

A member of the Am Law 100 and Am Law Global 100, Fragomen offers immigration support in more than 170 countries. Fragomen’s professionals are respected leaders in the immigration field, and the firm is regularly recognized as a leading firm for its percentage of minority and female attorneys.

The firm also supports all aspects of global immigration for both corporate and private clients, including strategic planning, quality management, reporting, case management and processing, compliance program counselling, representation in government investigations, government relations, complex matter solutions, and litigation.

Fragomen is a long-time leader in the immigration technology space and continues to lead the way in the digitization of the immigration journey. It has created Fragomen Technologies Inc., a Fragomen subsidiary focused on the nexus of law and technology to further enhance its technology offering.

These capabilities allow Fragomen to work in partnership with individuals and corporate clients across all industries to facilitate the transfer of employees worldwide. For detailed information about Fragomen, click here.

Please do get in touch with our Talent Beyond Boundaries team at:

bnichols@talentbeyondboundaries.org

Beth Nichols - UK Partnerships Lead

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