Rose Bewick portrait

Written by Rose Bewick

Rose is the training coordinator at Refugee Cafe. She has previously worked for the British Red Cross on the Syrian Resettlement Program, and is soon to complete a masters in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration from the University of London.

Our mission at Refugee Cafe is to use the power of food to support local refugees and migrants into employment. So, we are extremely excited to be launching our very first training program, aimed at empowering refugees and migrants with a background in hospitality to find work in this industry.

Refugees and vulnerable migrants are disproportionately represented in the UK’s unemployment figures. They often face multiple barriers to accessing work, including limited English language skills and a  lack of UK work experience. At a time when food businesses are crying out for staff, this is the perfect moment to start bridging some of the gaps which keep refugees and migrants excluded from mainstream employment in this sector. By equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to find work in the UK’s culinary industry, this course aims to help refugees and vulnerable migrants get back on their feet, regain their independence and work towards building a future for themselves and their families in the UK, by accessing mainstream employment.

Through a combination of theoretical classes and practical placements, this course will address some of the most significant barriers that refugees and migrants face when it comes to finding work in the food and hospitality industry. Classes will cover basic food hygiene and Covid measures, training in understanding budgeting and stock management, teamwork and communication skills, and more. The course will incorporate peer support coaching and communications workshops, and trainees will have the opportunity to learn from and connect with other refugees who have already found work in this industry. Trainees will also be supported to write CVs and apply for jobs, as well as learning what it takes to run a food business in the UK. The course is an opportunity for refugees to gain foundational knowledge of the UK food industry, UK work experience, Level 2 Food Safety and Hygiene qualification and professional references. They will also receive one to one help to work towards their long-term employment goals.

With a background in hospitality management, a love of great food, and a big belief in the power of the hospitality sector as a force for empowerment and community cohesion, I am so excited to work with refugees and migrants who care about hospitality and have a passion for food.

This is an eight-week, part time course, based in Lewisham. Classes will run on Monday and Tuesday mornings, with four 3-hour placements over the duration of the course. Our first course will run in November (exact dates to be confirmed), but we accept rolling applications.

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in becoming a trainee, please do get in touch to apply or ask questions. You can contact me (Rose) at or 07306413599