“What Talent Beyond Boundaries is doing is exactly what the world needs.” These are the words of Haydar, an Iraqi software engineer living in Jordan as a refugee. He heard about Talent Beyond Boundaries (TBB) when he went to an information session hosted by TBB and UNHCR.

Many refugees, like Haydar face work restrictions in their countries of first asylum. During the information session, TBB volunteers explained that the project aims to link refugees to jobs in countries abroad where their skills are needed. TBB, in partnership with SPARK, is heading up the only project dedicated to developing this pathway – labor mobility for refugees- as a safe and legal means for people to rebuild their careers and lives.

Haydar was inspired to sign up to TBB’s online ‘Talent Catalogue’, a platform designed to allow refugees to showcase their work experience, qualifications, and skills to international employers. For him this is especially important because his skills and qualifications were being ignored by employers, “most companies, when they see where I am from, do not want to even take a second to consider me.” He believes that he has the potential to contribute professionally but is being denied this opportunity because of factors out of his control. The Talent Catalogue provides him with the platform needed to overcome this barrier.

The Talent Catalogue, launched in July 2016, is now being used by almost 10,000 people from a variety of occupational backgrounds, including engineers, health care workers, skilled trades people, educators and more. At the moment the TBB programme operates in Jordan and Lebanon, and the vast majority of those making use of the platform are Syrian. As well as organising interviews for the candidates with employers around the globe, TBB offers useful services like CV editing and interview assistance.

With a vast database of talented individuals at their disposal, international employers are beginning to make job offers. When these candidates move for work, it not only marks beginning of a new life for them and their families, it also paves the way for a new “complementary pathway” for refugees. This in turn will provide other people with the opportunity to move on the basis of their skills, to places where their professional skills and abilities are valued and required.