We’ve launched a Supporting New Scots Fund to make it easier for refugees across Scotland to learn English and find work.

The initiative aims to help refugees and people seeking asylum feel more at home in their new communities and reduce their risk of poverty.

The Supporting New Scots Fund is open to open to organisations that support refugee integration, including Local Authorities, the Third Sector and other bodies working with people seeking safety.

A total of £500,000 is available to fund projects which deliver on two key areas: English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) and Employability.

Tenders must be submitted by 11.59pm on Sunday, 26 March. Find out more about the Supporting New Scots Fund and how to apply for funding here.

The New Scots Integration Delivery Project

This fund is part of a wider New Scots Refugee Integration Delivery Project led by the Scottish Government in partnership with Scottish Refugee Council, COSLA, and the UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at the University of Glasgow.

The Scottish Government recently announced that additional funding had been secured from the European Union Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to support work to integrate refugees across Scotland.

Sabir Zazi, CEO of  Scottish Refugee Council, said: “Successful, well integrated communities need support, both for the individuals seeking safety in Scotland and the local areas receiving them. We’re particularly pleased to see funding in place to boost English language support and to help people back into employment. These are two areas that are crucial to integration, both for the individuals and families affected and the communities receiving them.”

£1.6 million will focus on the development of an updated New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy ensuring people seeking safety are supported to make their new communities their home.

Other projects that have received funding include:
  • The Supporting New Scots Fund, which will provide £500,000 in targeted funding for ESOL and Employability
  • Small grants to encourage wide-scale public engagement across Scotland for the refreshed New Scots Refugee Integration Strategy by enabling organisations to host engagement events for existing and recently arrived New Scots
  • The extension of University of Glasgow’s international research into New Scots integration for Afghan and Ukrainian Nationals, focussing on efforts made by the Scottish Government, local authorities and the third sector to support integration,
  • Refugee Festival Scotland – a focal point and celebration of all New Scots in Scotland. This will include providing small grants to organisations to enable them to host events as part of the Festival

Angus Robertson, The Scottish Government’s External Affairs Secretary, said: “Scotland has a long history of welcoming people of all nationalities and faiths, including those seeking refuge from war and persecution. While continuing to support all refugees and people seeking asylum, in recent years we have seen two large scale resettlement efforts from Afghanistan and Ukraine, with over 20,000 displaced people from Ukraine alone arriving in Scotland since February 2022 and we have had to move quickly to get people the support they need to settle into their new communities.

“The Scottish Government and our New Scots partners are committed to supporting the integration of refugees and people seeking asylum into our communities and providing the safety and security they need as they begin to rebuild their lives. Our compassionate approach to support refugees and people seeking asylum living in Scotland is clear and this vital funding will ensure work can continue to refresh the New Scots strategy to take account of the significant changes in recent years and ensure any key learning is reflected.”

Find out more about the Supporting New Scots Fund and how to submit a tender here.

Rachel Lamb
Author: Rachel Lamb