SYRIAN refugees have been recruited to North Ayrshire Council’s Streetscene team.

This is part of a work experience programme to help develop their English skills ahead of entering formal employment after fleeing the horrors of civil war.

North Ayrshire Council say they have also welcomed two new Syrian families earlier this month and others will arrive later in the year.

In 2015, North Ayrshire Council pledged to accommodate up to 100 refugees over a four-year period.

And back in February the council agreed to resettle a further 60 refugees into North Ayrshire communities.

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “One of our key priorities is to support people to develop their skills and enter employment.

“In the past year, our programmes – which are designed to support all groups within our communities – have enjoyed great success and supported 818 local residents back to work.

“One of our delivery partners WEA (Workers Educational Association) has been working with Syrian refugees to develop their language skills, with a view to them entering employment. As part ofthis work, WEA secure short work experience placements with employers, which are designed to aid their language development and employability skills.

“As North Ayrshire’s largest employer, it is only rightthat we are one ofthe organisations which play a partin providing a number of work experience placements. It is recognised nationally that supporting refugees into employment is vital in terms of their integration into communities and the local work being taken forward by WEA, the council and its partners has been commended as best practice.”

All support costs for refugees being settled in North Ayrshire are met though Home Office grant funding.

NAC cabinet papers say benefits of the programme include an increase in the number of young people arriving in North Ayrshire and that resettling refugees will increase the working age population in North Ayrshire.