HUNDREDS of people from Zimbabwe who live in the Huddersfield area are aiming to improve their lot.
And one of their first steps is to put together a skills database to try and ensure many of them can find jobs in the region.
Details of the plans were hammered out at a meeting with Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman. It will be followed by a series of monthly meetings for the group.
Representatives of the Zimbabwean political party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who live in Huddersfield, met the MP to discuss various issues.
High on agenda was the issue of employment and the plight of Zimbabwean asylum seekers resident in Huddersfield.
Mr Sheerman met Milton Zonde, Huddersfield branch chairman, Luis Mashapure, organising secretary, and Sonia Sola, of the ladies’ wing.
Mr Zonde and his team have a task to come up with a skills data base for all Zimbabweans in Huddersfield area to submit to the office of the local MP.
Mr Zonde said the MP pledged to assist skilled Zimbabweans to connect with prospective employers.
He said: “There are more than 500 Zimbabweans in the area with different skills that needed to be harnessed.
“Many of them have been here for the past 10 years and once they have been given permission to settle here, they have been joined by their families.
“The numbers include a lot of students who are studying at the University of Huddersfield.
“One of our aims is to come up with social enterprises to help beat the unemployment that is affecting a lot of people.”
Mr Zonde added: “I invite all Zimbabweans, regardless of gender, creed, colour, race, political affiliation or religion to our regular meetings at the Wagon and Horses pub in Bradford Road, Hillhouse.
“We meet in the upper rooms on the first Saturday of the month at 4pm.
“The meetings will also help Zimbabweans in general to meet and know each other and share their experiences of living in this country.”
The MDC party formed a government of national unity in Zimbabwe with President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU (PF) in February 2010.
For details of the meetings, call Milton Zonde on 07795282795 or email firstname.lastname@example.org