Tent Partnership for Refugees Launches New Europe Advisory Council

September 27, 2023 – The Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – a global network of more than 300 major companies committed to integrating refugees into local labor markets – is pleased to announce its first-ever Europe Advisory Council. This distinguished group of leaders will bring their insights and expertise from the worlds of business, politics, and media to further Tent’s mission of mobilizing businesses across Europe to connect refugees to work.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, European countries west of Ukraine have welcomed 4 to 5 million refugees from the country. This is in addition to the more than 3 million refugees already living across Europe from countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. Due to the multitude of barriers refugees face to finding jobs, including a lack of language proficiency, absence of social and professional networks, as well as transportation and childcare challenges – their labor force participation is considerably lower than that of the local-born population, making it more difficult for them to successfully integrate in their new communities.

Tent’s Europe Advisory Council will build on the momentum achieved at Tent’s historic European Business Summit in June, during which over 40 companies – including adidas, Amazon, Marriott, and Microsoft – committed to provide jobs and training to more than 250,000 refugees across the continent over the next three years.

Tent’s Europe Advisory Council will be chaired by Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, former French Education Minister, France Director of the ONE Campaign and President of France Terre d’Asile. Other members are:

  • Jacob Aarup-Andersen, CEO of Carlsberg Group
  • Matthew Freud, Chairman of the Freuds Group 
  • Jean Hedayat, Head of LinkedIn Sweden
  • June Sarpong, TV Presenter, Diversity Expert and Award-Winning Author
  • Hein Schumacher, CEO of Unilever
  • Margot Slattery, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at ISS A/S

“With the number of refugees continuing to surge in Europe, the business community has a duty and a responsibility to do more for our brothers and sisters in need, and provide jobs for these people who are seeking to rebuild their lives,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani and Founder of Tent. “I am excited and grateful to see these incredibly talented and generous leaders commit to working with us to fulfill our mission in Europe and get more refugees successfully and seamlessly into the labor market.” 

“Across Europe, many sectors are facing labor shortages while at the same time millions of refugees are actively looking for a job,” said Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Chair of Tent’s Europe Advisory Council. “Tent exists to bridge this gap, to advise and help businesses overcome the barriers that refugees face, so that many more displaced people can, through work, be fully included in their new communities, and become an asset to society and economies in Europe.”   

Tent currently works in Europe with major companies across seven countries: France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. 

For more information about Tent’s Europe Advisory Council click here.

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