MigrationWork has started working with three West Midlands cities on a major initiative to help the region’s communities get the maximum benefit from migration and improve migrants’ and refugees’ sense of belonging by offering services including language classes, employment support and the chance to learn new skills.

In October 2017 the EU’s Urban Innovation Actions Fund awarded more than £4m to Coventry, Birmingham and Wolverhampton for their ‘MiFriendly Cities’ project. The fund provides urban areas throughout Europe with resources to test new and unproven solutions to address urban challenges.

This West Midlands Combined Authority-backed initiative will see the three cities working with eight other partners from the private and voluntary sectors to roll out a three-year programme of activities designed in partnership with refugees and migrants and largely delivered by them.

MigrationWork will help migrants and refugees to devise and develop grassroots initiatives in areas where they have identified greatest need: employment, housing, health care and active citizenship. Funding will be available for particularly innovative projects. We are also coordinating the project’s communication activities, facilitating the exchange of learning with cities around Europe and will be involved with evaluating the work.

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