Over 40 Companies Commit to Provide Jobs & Training to More Than 250,000 Ukrainian and Other Refugees at Tent European Business Summit
- 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
June 19, 2023 – 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.
APPENDIX: ADDITIONAL QUOTES
Gideon Maltz, CEO of the Tent Partnership for Refugees: “The European public’s outpouring of support for Ukrainian refugees in the early days of Russia’s invasion is now being matched by the business community making smart, strategic, and durable investments to integrate Ukrainian and other refugees into the labor market. Through these efforts, companies fill labor shortages and harness amazing talent, while refugees rebuild their lives and integrate in their communities. If Russia had hoped that the exodus of Ukrainians would destabilize Europe, today’s summit shows that Europe will be stronger and more prosperous for embracing Ukrainians and other refugees.”
Kelly T. Clements, Deputy High Commissioner of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency: “Tent and its partners have powerfully demonstrated that there is an overwhelming support from businesses, customers and employees towards hiring refugees. Having a job puts refugees on the path to self-reliance, enabling them to support their families. Refugees are innovators, taxpayers, employees, consumers, investors and entrepreneurs. There is no better investment than helping refugees find work or gain the skills they need to enter the labour market. It simply makes good business sense. UNHCR urges more companies to step up and create decent work for refugees globally.”
Anthony Capuano, President & CEO of Marriott International: “At Marriott International, we believe in being a force for good and making a positive and sustainable impact in the communities where we do business. Across Europe, this has included support for refugees from Ukraine since the start of the war. Our focus on creating job opportunities has already led to over 970 refugees hired across dozens of our hotels in the region. Marriott’s goal to hire an additional 1,500 refugees in Europe builds on the work we’re doing to promote opportunities for refugees in the U.S. and highlights our steadfast commitment to put people first and provide economic opportunity for refugees and underrepresented populations.”
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Director France of the ONE Campaign and Tent Advisory Council member: “The extraordinary wave of solidarity we witnessed since the beginning of the war in Ukraine must not wane and must extend to all refugees wherever they come from. Refugees enrich our societies and our economies. I am thrilled to see so many companies step up to initiate or strengthen their existing commitments to hire and train refugees. They are leading the way, and our hope is that many more will follow suit.”
Laura Fuentes, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hilton & Tent Advisory Council member: “Hilton was founded with the purpose to spread the light and warmth of hospitality – to be a beacon of hope and engine of opportunity. Part of this commitment is to create career pathways for all.” We are proud to continue our partnership with Tent to hire 1,500 refugees over the next three years at our hotels across Europe and embrace the contributions of this diverse and skilled talent pool among our workforces.”
Chris Heutink, Executive Board Member, Randstad: “Since 2011, Randstad has supported the work lives of over 103,400 migrants and refugees through our programs across the globe. As the world’s largest talent company, we continue to mobilize our reach to connect refugees and migrants with careers and opportunities which greatly contribute to a more free, secure future for themselves and their families. After achieving our previous 3 year target in just one year, we’re proud to now expand on these efforts by supporting the careers of 50,000 refugees and migrants by 2025. Within this talent pool, we will connect 40,000 refugees and migrants to work and provide training to 10,000 individuals. We believe this speaks to our sincere conviction that meaningful work is essential for all.’’
Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO of ISS and Tent European Business Summit Co-Host: “At ISS, we are proud of our diverse and inclusive culture, which embraces colleagues from around the world and led us to immediately commit to welcoming Ukrainian refugees into our workforce as soon as the war broke out. Through our partnership with the Tent Partnership for Refugees, local authorities, and other key partners, ISS is proud to have already hired hundreds of refugees in Europe since last spring. Our commitment today to hire at least 1,000 more refugees, including Ukrainian refugee women, builds on our relentless drive to make a true difference for people and societies through financial stability and a sense of belonging.”
Paul Polman, Business Leader, Campaigner, Former CEO of Unilever, and Tent European Business Summit Co-Host: “When I joined Hamdi Ulukaya and the other distinguished business leaders as co-host of the Tent European Business Summit a few months ago, I could not have imagined the scale at which businesses would be stepping up for Ukrainians and other refugees today. I deeply commend the companies that have joined this crucial movement and I pay tribute to the many refugees who are rebuilding their lives, from Ukraine and other parts of the world. Their talent and tenacity is a tremendous asset for any company building a capable and determined workforce”.
Dominika Bettman, GM of Microsoft Poland and Tent European Business Summit Co-Host: “The millions of Ukrainian refugees that Poland and the rest of Europe have welcomed since the start of the war are primarily women with childcare burdens. Many continue to face professional and social challenges as they strive to enter the local labour market. Training is a critical stepping stone for these willing and talented individuals as they seek to find work. Microsoft is proud to be a part of today’s watershed moment with our commitment to work with our partners across Europe to train at least 5,000 Ukrainians until 2025.”
Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, Senior Director of ESG Programs and Partnerships, Indeed: “At Indeed, we want to play our part in helping refugee job seekers overcome the myriad of barriers faced in the job search journey. Through partnerships with organizations like Tent, we know there is a clear correlation between gainful employment and improved outcomes for refugees. We have committed today to support more than 15,000 refugees over the next 3 years in their search for work, and we will continue to use the power of our platform to break down barriers for refugees in the hiring process.”
Rob Kowalski, Chief People & Organization Officer, Novartis: “Increasing access to medicine is only part of the solution to the global refugee crisis. That’s why at Novartis we have reimagined and scaled our approach to go beyond monetary and medicine donations. Our innovative refugee response unleashes the power of our people, providing skills-based volunteering, housing, mentoring, education, employee giving and community activities to refugees around the world. This new additional commitment to hire at least 150 refugees and train at least 150 refugees over the next three years builds on our work to-date and helps further build a truly holistic and sustainable program.”
Ian Bickley, CEO, The Body Shop: “It’s critical that businesses across Europe join forces to provide refugees with opportunities to rebuild their lives. Here at The Body Shop, we’ve been growing our inclusive hiring practices across our markets for several years now providing jobs to people who desperately need economic stability and the kind of securities that many of us take for granted. We’re really looking forward to welcoming more refugees to join our collective and we thank Tent for spearheading this essential work.”
Federico Zanella, Group Head of Human Resources, QSRP: “We see so much opportunity in our partnership with Tent, because it embodies the ethos of QSRP. Through this initiative, we can help refugees eager to provide for themselves and their families by giving them jobs across our brands and franchised restaurants. Alongside our pledge to hire refugees announced today, we are also committed to working with our teams to ensure we bring a multicultural mindset to our workplaces, and that they are welcoming work environments for all.”
Pernille Fritz Vilhelmsen, Chief People & Culture Officer and Executive Vice President of People & Culture, Hempel A/S: “At Hempel, we have a diverse workforce of 7,500+ colleagues spread across more than 80 countries. We’re working with several partners to ensure we deliver on our diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) promises – which includes creating a sense of belonging at Hempel. Joining the Tent Partnership for Refugees to support displaced people aligns with our values and efforts to bring about positive change. Today, we commit to hiring 50 refugees, including Ukrainian refugee women, over three years in the UK. In addition, we commit to providing training for 50 refugees in Spain over three years. We will do this through a dedicated Painters Program for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the paint and coatings industry.”
Andrzej Korkus, CEO, EWL Group: “We are extremely proud to be a part of the Tent Partnership for Refugees global community and join with our commitment to help connect 35,000 Ukrainian refugees to work in the coming 3 years. We have the knowledge and resources to do so. Also, thanks to our tailor-made technology solutions, only last year, after the war started, we helped 12,000 Ukrainian refugees find a job – together, we can do much more. We are devoted to supporting the idea of global mobility. We are great believers that a safe, fair job is a benefit to the whole free global community.”
Jojo Lins De Noronha, President Northern Europe, The Kraft Heinz Company: “We are really pleased to be able to partner with Tent and this incredible initiative to help the lives of refugees. One of our company values is ‘We do the right thing’ and commitments like this allow us to continue to positively impact the communities we operate in. We are proud to be able to commit to hiring refugees across our European supply network and provide them with the support and guidance they need to build meaningful careers. It also helps us to continue to transform our organisation through inclusivity and by breaking down barriers that would otherwise lead us to overlook displaced people with talent and skills.”
Riccardo Barberis, President of Northern Europe, ManpowerGroup: ”Our experience in connecting refugees with meaningful work across Europe has taught us that securing a job is a crucial initial milestone to help people settle down, establish relationships, and fully immerse themselves and their families in new communities. We firmly believe that partnerships are critical in order to truly make a significant impact on a large scale, and we are proud to support Tent and collaborate with them in mobilizing the business community to consider and integrate refugees into their workforces. This effort will pave the way for sustainable employment, allowing people to rebuild their lives and improve their prospects for a better future.”
Gabriele Galateri di Genola, Chairman of The Human Safety Net Foundation, Generali Group: “Through The Human Safety Net, Generali Group has achieved remarkable results in providing training and employment opportunities for refugees. Building on this success, we are committed to offering training to 5,000 refugees by 2026. Our dedication stems from the belief that refugees bring great value to our societies and economies. We are inspired by the increasing number of companies that are committing to supporting refugees and proud to join forces with organizations like the Tent Partnership for Refugees, continuing the commitment that Generali, The Human Safety Net and our partners have been carrying forward since 2018. Together, we can make a true difference, fostering financial stability and a sense of belonging for those seeking a fresh start.”
Johanna Dahlsjö, Head of ESS Academy, ESS Group: “Through our self-developed training and apprenticeship programs, ESS Group has already trained 90 and hired 30 people and in the coming years, we commit to hire over 165 people with a refugee and migrant background. Joining Tent and being a part of today’s historic moment makes us all very proud and through our partnership with Tent, we believe we can succeed and reach that goal.”
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About the Tent Partnership for Refugees
With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new communities. Tent was launched in 2016 by Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO and founder of Chobani – a multibillion dollar food company in the U.S. – to mobilize global businesses to fill this gap by helping connect refugees to work. Today, Tent is a network of over 300 major companies committed to hiring, training, and mentoring refugees. Find out more at www.tent.org.