The region of Murcia in Spain, together with NGOs, has set up a programme to help refugees find a job so that they can rebuild their lives.
The European-backed initiative aims to harness and improve people's existing skills. Recognised for its outstanding work, the scheme won a RegioStars Award as well as finance from the European Social Fund.
"Simplicity and ease of management"
To understand more about what the Spanish region is doing, Smart Regions spoke to Murcia's deputy director for employment and training, Fuensanta Munuera Pérez. She insists simplicity is crucial when it comes to refugee management.
"We know that the simplest thing works, that is to say, civil servants and highly trained professionals who know the groups they are dealing with, establish the best and simplest way to manage resources. That is why this programme was established, just as the gender violence programme was awarded the previous year for its simplicity and ease of management for public administration for local entities."
Refugees from different parts of the world, including Ukraine
"In general, people of different nationalities come to the programme. It's true that the Latin American group is very important, for example, Colombians and Venezuelans, but we also have Moroccans, we have Syrians, we have Afghans, Fuensanta Munuera Pérez explains.
She adds: "Since the SEF, more than 650 people have already gone through the programme. They are still with us because they are still often job seeking, and we’re still looking after them and that is also very important. For example, the latest phase we’re developing is with a group of people from Ukraine - Ukrainian refugees who have come to the Region of Murcia. Right now we already have 93 people [now 164] in this programme from Ukraine in Murcia looking for work."