REFUGEES living in Yorkshire are to be offered lessons about the British way of life.
The courses are among a raft of pioneering measures aimed at better integrating refugees.
the project was launched in Sheffield yesterday by the Yorkshire and Humberside Regional Consortium for Asylum Seekers and Refugees with support from the Yorkshire and Humber Assembly, Yorkshire Forward and the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber.
Citizenship classes will be a central part of the initiative.
They will give refugees a better understanding of the British way of life, culture and institutions.
One of the main criticisms of the existing asylum system is that it does little to promote integration.
Speaking at the launch, Home Office Minister Beverley Hughes will urge employers to make use of the expertise that many refugees bring with them. Their vital talents could help fill skills gaps among the county's workforce.
Pam Bye, director of Kirklees Refugees and Friends Together (KRAFT) welcomed the county-wide action and added her organisation had already put in place many of the strategies.
A new learning skills centre is shortly to be opened, run with Huddersfield Technical College to hold citizenship courses.
"The refugee service that we offer is totally holistic.
"We are unique in West Yorkshire," explained Mrs Bye.