Gap-year students are deciding asylum claims

A Ugandan asylum seeker whose fate may be decided by a student with five weeks’ training [Image: David Levene for the Observer].

If this is true, is it fair on either the students or the asylum-seekers?

This Blog notes also that the amount of training is one week less than is currently given to DWP employees – and we all know how good they are at their jobs, right?

Gap-year students are being recruited by the Home Office to make potentially life or death decisions on asylum claims, the Observer has learned. The students receive only five weeks’ training before they begin interviewing asylum seekers and making decisions about whether they can stay in the UK or should be sent back to their home countries.

The Home Office has confirmed that the practice of recruiting gap-year students on temporary contracts during busy periods to help process asylum claims is a longstanding one. A spokesman said that job adverts for these temporary contracts were placed on student and university websites. He added that such temporary jobs are targeted at students who might not want a long-term career at the Home Office.

Some of those recruited are law students and previously some were assigned to working on the controversial “detained fast-track”, where asylum cases were processed very quickly. Following a legal challenge, the Home Office has suspended detained fast-track. A further legal challenge is under way about the system with which the Home Office has replaced it.

Source: Gap-year students deciding asylum claims | UK news | The Guardian

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