Accenture, Adecco, Amazon, Generali, ISS, Marriott International, and Microsoft among leading businesses pledging to accelerate the economic integration of Ukrainian refugee women and other refugees
PARIS, June 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — On the eve of World Refugee Day and as Europe faces its largest refugee crisis since World War II – including 4-5 million refugees, overwhelmingly women, from Ukraine – 41 leading companies have collectively announced ambitious commitments to provide over 250,000 Ukrainian refugee women and other refugees with jobs and training across Europe. Unveiled at today’s Tent European Business Summit in Paris – organized by the Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – this sets a new record as the most significant set of business commitments ever made to advance the economic integration of refugees.
This historic set of commitments comprises: leading brands including Hilton, Marriott International, and Teleperformance committing to hire 13,680 refugees into their workforce; the world’s largest staffing agencies including Adecco, ManpowerGroup, and Randstad committing to connect 152,000 refugees to work; and major companies including Accenture, Generali, and Indeed committing to train more than 86,000 refugees. Also announced at the Summit was funding from Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, to accelerate Tent’s work in Poland, as well as new strategic partnerships with LinkedIn and Visa – including funding support – to grow Tent’s professional mentorship initiatives for refugees in Europe.
Notably, the commitments being made will strengthen companies’ workforces, fill labor gaps, and boost European economies – and generate over €2 billion in income for refugees across Europe each year.
“With no end in sight to the Russian invasion of Ukraine – and with the European Union welcoming millions of Ukrainians – it’s imperative that refugees are offered longer-term inclusion and hope through integration into the labour market,” said Margaritis Schinas, Vice President of the European Commission, who gave the keynote speech at the Summit. “The opening of the EU’s borders to Ukrainians over a year ago showed Europe at its best. However, one year on, far too many refugees remain unemployed, despite our endemic skills shortages, their high levels of education, desire to earn a living, and legal right to work through the Temporary Protection Directive. This unprecedented show of support from businesses across the continent will be critical to enabling tens of thousands of Ukrainians to provide for themselves and their loved ones back in Ukraine.”
“Ukrainian refugee women face many hurdles when finding jobs – from not knowing the local language to having to juggle childcare responsibilities. Businesses must do more to reduce these barriers, and help these incredible, strong, talented people enter the workforce,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and President of the Tent Partnership for Refugees and CEO and founder of Chobani. “The moment a refugee gets a job is the moment they stop being a refugee. I’m so proud that the companies stepping up today will help more than 250,000 Ukrainian women and other refugees across Europe stand on their own two feet, giving them a chance to live lives of dignity.”
Brands committing to hire 13,680 Ukrainians and other refugees into their workforce over the next three years across Europe included:
Amazon will hire at least 5,000 refugees
Hilton will hire at least 1,500 refugees
Marriott International will hire at least 1,500 refugees
ISS will hire at least 1,000 refugees
Teleperformance will hire at least 500 refugees
Other brands making hiring commitments included Accenture, adidas, Blackstone, bp, Duni Group, ESS Group, FCC Medio Ambiente, Hempel, Hyatt, Ipsos, KFC, Kyndryl, L’Oréal Group, Menzies Aviation, Novartis, PepsiCo, Pfizer, QSRP, Starbucks EMEA, Suez, The Body Shop, and The Kraft Heinz Company.
“We know the diversity of our workforce makes us a stronger company, which is why we actively seek to hire people with different backgrounds, skill sets, and levels of experience. We understand the barriers that exist for refugees and other displaced people, and are committed to providing access to meaningful employment,” said J. Ofori Agboka, Vice President of People eXperience and Technology (PXT) for Global Operations at Amazon and Tent Advisory Council member. “We’re proud of the pledge we have made today, which reflects Amazon’s ongoing commitment to support refugees globally.”
Staffing agencies also made extraordinary commitments to connect refugees to work over the next three years, by including them in their contingent workforces as well as placing them in jobs with their clients across Europe. Their pledges totaled 152,000 and include:
Adecco will connect at least 50,000 refugees to work
Randstad will connect at least 40,000 refugees to work
EWL Group will connect at least 35,000 refugees to work
ManpowerGroup will connect at least 30,000 refugees to work
“Adecco has a long-standing commitment of supporting refugees in need. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, we have helped more than 10,000 refugees connect to work but recognize the increasing need for companies like ours to do even more, given the sobering reality that many are expected to remain displaced for years to come,” said Christophe Catoir, President of Adecco and co-host of the Tent European Business Summit. “It’s inspiring to see dozens of companies from across Europe come together with such bold commitments at this crucial moment, and Adecco is incredibly proud to be at the forefront of this charge.”
In addition, a number of major companies announced commitments to provide training – both directly as well as through partner organizations – over the next three years to help refugees develop in-demand technical skills such as IT, coding, and cyber security, as well as gain a better understanding of the European job market.
Accenture will provide training and support to an estimated 16,000 refugees
Indeed will provide training to at least 15,000 refugees
Cisco will provide training to at least 10,000 refugees
Microsoft will provide training to at least 5,000 refugees
Generali will provide training to least 5,000 refugees
“Refugees face so many challenges as they try to enter their new country’s labour market for the first time or find work that is commensurate with their skills and background,” said Lucy Murdoch, Managing Director – Corporate Citizenship, Accenture. “Training opportunities – whether they’re focused on language, industry-specific skills, or learning labour market norms – are critical to help refugee candidates secure meaningful employment. Our pledge today builds on Accenture’s ongoing commitment towards creating inclusive employment pathways for refugees and track record in upskilling marginalised populations all around the world to make substantive improvements to their lives and prepare them for sustainable futures.”
Other companies committing to train refugees included Accor, Amazon, Hempel, Kyndryl, ManpowerGroup, Novartis, Randstad, Salesforce, Starbucks EMEA, and Unilever.
In light of these pan-European commitments, Tent will look to connect more companies regionally with refugee talent pools at scale – particularly in Poland, which hosts the largest Ukrainian refugee population at 1.5 million. To that end, also announced today was support from Google.org that will leverage Google’s resources and technology know-how to bridge the gap between businesses and Ukrainian refugees in Poland.
Complementing its wider mission of connecting refugees to jobs, Tent’s professional mentorship programs provide support to refugees from employees at participating companies who serve as mentors, offer one-to-one career guidance, and help them restart or advance their careers. To help reach thousands more Ukrainians and other refugee women, new strategic partnerships with LinkedIn and Visa to accelerate the growth of Tent’s Refugee Women Mentorship Program in Europe were also announced at the Summit today – including funding.
A complete list of the commitments announced at the Summit can be found here.