The classes are a response to the rule that third country nationals are required to pass an English language speaking and listening test at a basic level.
Adeeba Malik MBE, deputy chief executive of QED-UK, said: “Passing the test is an integral part of the visa application process. For women who are already married to British Pakistani men, we wanted to ensure they received high quality training with a focus on helping them to integrate into British society.”
Pakistani women can pay for English language courses but this is the first time they’ll be able to access the training for free.
The courses are being co-funded by the European Union’s Fund for the Integration of Third Country Nationals. QED-UK is the first UK organisation to be awarded a grant to train women in Pakistan before they come to the UK.
Adeeba Malik, a Bradford-born teacher, was awarded an MBE for her services to ethnic minorities and work on equality and diversity projects. She travelled to Mirpur – where the majority of immigrants to the UK are from – to recruit teachers and create the ten-week English course in association with Mirpur University of Science and Technology.
Ms Malik said: “This is the first UK-based project co-funded by the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals to be administered overseas. Integration is the crucial motivator and should be on the top of our agenda. Wives are a central part of a healthy family unit, so ensuring the women do join their husbands is the first step to a more harmonious life. At QED-UK, our emphasis isn’t just on learning English but learning British culture to encourage integration. We don’t want Pakistanis – or any community – to be marginalised, or feel alienated but be an active, positive force in society.”
Bradford-based QED-UK was founded in 1990 with a mission to work towards a cohesive society.
Ms Malik said: “The scheme is co-funded by the European Union and will be hugely beneficial for Britain. Educating Pakistani women mean there’s less demand for translators when they visit the doctor, for example. It means they are more likely to gain employment and contribute to the community at large. Language is the key to dealing with problems of alienation or radicalisation and work towards a harmonious future.”
For all media enquiries, or to interview Adeeba Malik, please contact Ann Chadwick at Cicada Communications on 01423 567 111 or email Ann@cicada-comms.com
Notes to Editors
QED-UK was founded in 1990 by Dr Mohammed Ali OBE. Its mission is to work towards a harmonious and cohesive society in which opportunity is not dependent on ethnic origin, race, religion or gender.
QED-UK is committed to help realise this vision of a better society by becoming the UK’s leading ethnic-minority-focused education, employment and training provider. They give priority to six key strategic objectives to enable QED-UK to succeed in this mission:
-Campaign and influence policies and practices of public, private and the mainstream voluntary sectors.
-Provide successful education and employability skills training and development for individuals.
-Find sustainable employment for disadvantaged communities.
Help employers to recruit, retain and develop a more diverse workforce.
-Provide ethnic minority focused diversity consultancy service to public, private and the voluntary sectors.
-Build the capacity of grass root community groups.
– QED-UK’s core values are: equality of treatment and inclusivity; passion in all we do; delivering positive experiences; respect and empowerment.
About Adeeba Malik MBE
Adeeba was born in Bradford and trained as a teacher. She taught religious education in a Bradford school before joining QED in 1992 where she manages a number of social, educational and economical projects. Adeeba also has extensive experience of working with major public and private companies on equality and diversity projects.
Previously, she chaired the DTIs national Ethnic Minority Business Forum for three years; was a member of the Women and Work Commission and sat on the Home Office’s Advisory Board on Naturalisation & Integration. She has also been a board member of the regional development agency, Yorkshire Forward, British Waterways, National Clinical Assessment Authority and held several other public appointments.
Adeeba has won many awards for her contributions and in June 2004 was awarded an MBE for her services to ethnic minorities and businesses.
About the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals (EIF)
The EIF is an EU funding programme that supports the efforts of Member States in enabling third-country nationals of different economic, social, cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds to fulfil the conditions of residence and to facilitate their integration into the European societies. Eligible action areas include pre- and post-arrival introductory programmes; research; policy capacity building, co-ordination and intercultural competence building across government; and exchange of experience, good practice and information. More information about the Fund, including relevant links, is available on the UK Border Agency website at: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/aboutus/workingwithus/workingwithasylum/integrating_other_migrants/