Connecting Opportunities


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About Connecting Opportunities

Connecting Opportunities [CO] is a project working with new migrants to develop their skills and opportunities to find work and be part of the local community.

Some local organisations that specialise in working with migrants are working together to offer tailored support, cultural orientation, English language classes and other training across West Yorkshire and part of North Yorkshire [Craven, Harrogate, Selby and York]. We’re also creating opportunities for local people to be volunteer mentors and befrienders, and for local employers to provide work placements to help people get a foothold in the job market.

We opened our doors in July 2017, and we’re very happy that so far, 90% of people who have completed CO have gained a job, or progressed into further education or training.

For more information please go to their website

Connecting Opportunities is funded by the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund as part of the Building Better Opportunities programme.

To refer yourself or someone else

There are different ways to refer someone to the project:

Aims of the project

The aim of Connecting Opportunities is to support the most vulnerable and marginalised new migrants in Leeds City Region to integrate and to increase their employability and become economically active members of the wider community. We recognise that some of the skills, strengths and potential of new migrants could remain untapped if we do not take action to address some of the many barriers they can face.

Key features of the Connecting Opportunities service

  • It’s a service tailored to each individual, not ‘one size fits all’.
  • The service is being offered by ten dedicated, specialist agencies with good knowledge of the specific issues faced by migrants.
  • You access the same service, wherever you live in Leeds City Region.
  • We ensure the perspectives and contributions of women are included.
  • We’re offering English language classes for up to 12 months.
  • There is specialist mental health support available.
  • Local mentors and befrienders help participants become familiar with their local community.
  • Employers are supported to offer work placements.

We hope for these results

  • Participants will feel more confident, speak better English and have a greater understanding of the British workplace.
  • Local employers will know more about the communities living locally, will feel supported to connect with new potential employees and will promote economic wellbeing in some of the most economically-deprived areas of the region.
  • There will be increased integration and understanding between local communities and new migrants.

Project partners

More information

If you have any questions, please phone Migration Yorkshire on 0113 3788 700.

Download our leaflet here – Connecting Opportunities Leaflet

Case Study

Read Georgina’s story