Watch the video to hear first Windrush Generation citizens talk about working and trying to get work on arrival in Britain. You will also hear their children providing insights into the legacy of the experiences of their parents in forging a career in a new country.

Finding Employment

Two black and white photos side to side. One is a young man and the other an elderly manThe Windrush Generation were invited to Britain to help rebuild the economy that had been weakened by World War Two. Some found employment easily, whereas others came up against racism and bigotry. Many immigrants who came to Britain from skilled jobs in the Caribbean could not find the kind of work they specialised in for a variety of reasons.

The most common areas that men from the Caribbean found work were manufacturing, construction and public transport. Many women found jobs in the NHS as nurses. Almost all the men who came from the Caribbean to the UK had previously worked in skilled positions and possessed excellent qualifications. However, many found it difficult to find work and initially accepted jobs that they were over-qualified for. 

Opportunities for promotion and access to better paid jobs with more responsibility were often limited for migrants due to discriminatory attitudes of employers.

However, hundreds of thousands of men and women like those featured in the video made a life here in Britain and made a huge contribution to the British economy, not only in the post-war period but across decades of work and employment.  


In 2018, the British Government declared that a national Windrush Day will take place on 22nd June every year to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.

Each year this is marked by events, exhibitions, performances and publications across the country. These celebrations are a tribute to the monumental contribution the Windrush Generation has made to the political, economic and cultural fabric of Britain. Facing hardship and discrimination at every turn, they strove to build new lives for themselves and their descendants.

They are true pioneers – the founders of Britain’s black communities, making their home in unfamiliar cities across the United Kingdom, from London to Leeds.

Find out about Windrush Day events happening near you or online. Why not join in and celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation?

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