LONDON - 7 June 2023, Earlybird has been awarded a grant from Innovate UK to develop multi-linguistic voice-centric software that will be a step change in providing employment support to refugees and asylum seekers, dramatically improving access and delivering better job outcomes. Earlybird is one of fifty pioneering companies across the UK to have been awarded £50,000 to further develop their inclusive innovations through Innovate UK’s Inclusive Innovation Award.
A study by the University of Oxford's Centre on Migration, Policy and Society found that the unemployment rate for refugees is 18%, which is three times higher than that of UK-born individuals. Refugees also earn significantly less on average and only around 10% of them work in professional occupations.
Included in the top 10 nationalities claiming asylum in the UK were Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Iraq and the most popular language across the countries listed above is Arabic. It is the official language in Syria and Iraq, and while it is not the official language in Afghanistan, Iran, and Sudan, it is still widely used and understood by a significant portion of the population in those countries.
Earlybird will use AI technology to enable job seekers on employment support programmes to respond to questions about their barriers, challenges and interests in other languages, starting with Arabic. The rich insights captured are extracted into easily digestible reports, in English, for their employment advisers. Using Earlybird improves participants' experience, saves employment support organisations time and money while improving the quality of support they provide, ultimately leading to an increased number of participants finding work and better-paid jobs.
Earlybird's founder, Claudine Adeyemi (pictured below), has a diverse background, combining domain expertise and lived experience to develop a unique perspective on the challenges faced by jobseekers and employability providers striving to support them.
The Inclusive Innovation Award aligns specifically with Earlybird's mission to promote inclusion and equity in the employability sector.
The Earlybird team is thrilled to be one of the businesses awarded funding. “The award allows us to conduct R&D in both the design and development of our product with inclusion as the core focus. At Earlybird, we are committed to using our combined experience and expertise to create innovative solutions that empower everyone to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.” - Claudine Adeyemi, CEO & Founder, Earlybird
Claudine believes technology can play a vital role in creating a more inclusive and equitable society, and is dedicated to using their expertise to develop solutions that promote these values. “We hope to inspire and serve as a role model for other innovators and businesses who are striving to develop innovative, inclusive solutions, while increasing awareness of the importance of inclusive technology and the role it can play in creating a more equitable society.”