Why your organisation should consider hiring young migrants

Granger Reis Feb 23, 2022

Back in January 2021, Granger Reis made the exciting decision to work with Migrant Leaders, an independent charity that supports the professional development of disadvantaged young migrants in the UK. What initially began as a series of joint workshops as part of the Migrant Leaders Access to Higher Education Conference, has quickly grown to become a fully-fledged partnership with four Granger Reis’ employees currently working as mentors for young migrants. And in recent weeks, we were delighted to be able to take on our first intern from the Migrant Leader’s programme, Omar Kanyi, an engineering undergraduate from the University of Edinburgh.

We recently chatted with Migrant Leaders CEO and Founder Elham Fardad to find out more about this fantastic initiative, and the value that hiring young migrants can add to companies like Granger Reis and the sectors in which we all operate.

How would you sum up the work you do at Migrant Leaders?

Ben Hewlett, Partner at Granger Reis

Elham: After 23 years in GE, News Corp and EY, I launched the charity Migrant Leaders in 2017. Now an independent UK registered charity programme, Migrant Leaders’ purpose is to inspire and develop disadvantaged young migrants across the UK. We help them to build leadership skills and better prepare themselves for the great opportunities that await them in the corporate world.

The programme is free for applicants between 16 and 25-years-old and it allows them to access mentoring, workshops, work experience and connections. We now have over 900 senior mentors from more than 95 FTSE100 and leading firms. Each mentor is carefully matched to mentees according to their skillsets and areas of interest.

How important is it to work with companies within the real estate and industrial sectors

Ben Hewlett, Partner at Granger Reis

Elham: The role of our corporate partnerships and mentors cannot be emphasised enough. Despite migrant children having double the rate of university degrees compared to those who are not first or second-generation migrants, they still have seven per cent lower employment rates, fewer professional jobs and managerial progression. The deep relationships, insights and connections our mentees gain through Migrant Leaders’ corporate partnerships and mentors are what was missing for this demographic.

Why should other companies consider hiring young migrants? What value can this add to companies at large?

Ben Hewlett, Partner at Granger Reis

Elham: In hiring young first and second-generation migrants, organisations are taking on someone special. Many of our young leaders have had to work incredibly hard for what they have, often dealing with ambiguous situations and little resources. It’s this intersection of socio-economic disadvantage, resilience and problem solving which makes young migrants so unique. If organisations are looking for tenacious people who think differently, then our Migrant Leaders mentees are a great source of underrepresented talent.

Granger Reis’ sectors, all of which rely heavily on real-world problem-solving, are those in which our mentees can add genuine value. Not only do our mentees have high aspirations, but many of them are also particularly skilled in STEM subjects, making them well suited to roles related to built environment operations.

Read our blog on hiring outside your sector

What is the impact of hiring young migrants to the country’s economy

Ben Hewlett, Partner at Granger Reis

Elham: The economy is like the universe: it expands. When you bring in young migrants that are driven and hungry to prove themselves, the economy grows, jobs are created, taxes are paid, and everyone benefits from that.

Migrant Leaders’ mission is to drive the economy in an inclusive way. Our aim is to approach these individuals at a young, ambitious stage of their life. And by showcasing the power of collaboration, mentees can live up to their aspirations.


To find out more about this fantastic initiative, head to the Migrant Leaders website

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