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Amazon, Hilton, and Kraft Heinz join commitment to hire 250,000 refugees

As the Ukraine war continues, 41 leading companies have announced they will provide over 250,000 Ukrainian refugee women and refugees from other countries with jobs and training.

Amazon will hire at least 5,000 people, Hilton 1,500 and Marriott International at least 1,500 in partnership with the refugee employment campaign, Tent Partnership for Refugees. 

The news comes as Europe faces its largest refugee crisis since the second world war, with 5,935,300 refugees from Ukraine alone recorded in Europe. 

All EU member states have implemented the Temporary Protection Directive, an emergency measure to deal with influxes of displaced people. This means they are offering expedited stay, residence and work status for Ukrainian refugees. 

Margaritis Schinas, vice president of the European commission at Tent, said as the conflict continues, many refugees are not being offered long-term employment. 

Speaking at Tent’s European Business Summit on Monday (19 June), she said: “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.” 

More on the war in Ukraine:

What it's like to work in HR during the Ukrainian war

What the Ukraine conflict tells us about race

Ukraine crisis: how HR can help refugees

Hamdi Ulukaya, founder of Tent, said Ukrainian women in particular face barriers to employment, including language barriers and childcare provisions. 

“Businesses must do more to reduce these barriers, and help these incredible, strong, talented people enter the workforce,” he added. 

Jojo Lins De Noronha, president for northern Europe at food and beverage company Kraft Heinz, said employing refugees will enable the company to hire previously overlooked talent. 

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “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.” 

Google, LinkedIn and Visa have also announced new funding to support Tent’s efforts in Europe. 

Staffing agencies including Adecco, ManpowerGroup, and Randstad have also committed to connect 152,000 refugees to work and major companies including Accenture and Indeed have committed to train over 86,000 refugees. 

Victoria Short, chief executive of Randstad UK said guidance and mentoring will help Ukrainian women break down barriers to employment. 

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: "We have committed to supporting Ukrainian refugees — women in particular — by recruiting people from within our organisation to act as mentors.   

“Despite the fact that these women have often had high level, professional careers, they face many barriers to entering the domestic labour market. By providing one-to-one, professional guidance and support, and mentoring we aim to help them to better navigate our job market.” 

Short said Ranstad’s staff are being trained and supported to become mentors. 

"To prepare Randstad's people for the role, Tent will train our employees on the best practices for supporting a Ukrainian or other refugee woman.   

“The charity is also providing a full curriculum to follow in mentoring sessions, such as reviewing mentee’s CVs and covering letters, and helping them to practice their interview skills, as well as network.   

“Mentors will meet their mentees at least six times over the course of four to six months, and they will be responsible for arranging the logistics of these virtual or in-person meetings.”