Literature in the field of employability and the third sector has focused upon the impact of marketisation on third sector providers, elaborating how commissioning processes have led to a contraction of (smaller) third sector organisations (TSOs) and an expansion of larger private sector bodies. Extant research does not however explore the role of third sector organisations in the employability of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. Therefore, our paper explores this gap by adopting a qualitative approach via a total of 36 interviews involving migrants, refugees, asylum seekers and managers of third sector organisations, alongside a categorisation of TSOs. Our findings reveal that TSOs are the primary (and for asylum seekers perhaps the only) providers of integration support services and training or education services. We found that only a limited number of organisations provide formal employability services or skills development services which seem to be only residual in terms of the range of activities that TSOs can organise. Thus, perhaps the main function that TSOs perform that enables integration into the UK labour market is providing a safe and trusted environment that people can use to increase their confidence, improve their well-being, broaden their social circle, learn the language or increase their work experience.
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