Amazon, Marriott and other companies have pledged to hire thousands of refugees in Europe

LONDON (AP) — Multinational companies including Amazon, Marriott and Hilton on Monday pledged to hire more than 13,000 refugees, including Ukrainian women who fled the war with Russia.over the next three years in Europe.

Just before World Refugee Day on Tuesday, more than 40 companies said they would hire, continue to work or train a total of 250,000 refugees, of whom 13,680 get direct jobs in those companies.

“Each number is the story of an individual family who left everything, searching for safety, seeking protection, wanting to be able to rebuild as quickly as possible,” said Kelly Clements, Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees. “So the commitments that companies will make on Monday are absolutely essential.”

It says 110 million people have been displaced worldwideWith an estimated 12 million Ukrainians, nearly half of them live in Europe after the continent’s largest refugee movement since World War II.

The recruitment drive in Europe is organized by Tent Partnership for Refugees, a non-profit organization founded by Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya that connects businesses and refugees, and will be unveiled at a rally in Paris. The group’s first summit in the US last year led to employment commitments for 22,725 refugees.

In the new round, Amazon leads the pack, pledging to hire at least 5,000 refugees over the next three years in Europe, followed by Marriott and Hilton with 1,500 each, Starbucks and ISS with 1,000 each, and smaller commitments from brands like Adidas and Starbucks. and L’Oreal, PepsiCo, and Hyatt.

“This is good for us as a company because the opportunity to add diversity to our workforce will continue to make us a stronger company,” said Ofori Agboka, Amazon’s vice president overseeing human resources. “With diversity brings innovation, creativity and different visions.”

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He said the vast majority of jobs will be hourly roles in fulfillment and warehousing centers and in transportation and delivery.

Amazon announced 27,000 jobs Earlier this year, part of a wave of layoffs after tech companies ramped up hiring during the COVID-19 pandemic. Agboka said these layoffs primarily affected paid office jobs.

Daria Sidehi-Volchenko fled Kiev last year and now works in Warsaw, Poland, as a senior program manager for Amazon Web Services, which provides free technical training to Ukrainians. She says about 40% of the participants in the program have no technical background.

“I went through the same way as many of our learners…” she said. “I had to learn, and I obliged in my interview. Well, if we can agree and I can start working for you, I promise you Polish and I promise you skills,” I said. Technology.”

More than a year ago, Sedihi Volchenko woke up to the blasts of the Russian invasion.

“I was terrified. I was so afraid for Ukraine, for the nation, for the future, for my own life,” she said. “But it was also a shocking moment when I realized that everything in my life was changing.”

She began to live in the basements, but left when the Russian forces approached Kiev. I drove 40 hours to get to Moldova, thankful that “she didn’t drive on a single land mine and no one shot my car.”

I went to Poland to find work, and embarked on the IT track after working as a project manager for government ministries and as an economist in Ukraine.

Companies hope that refugees will be able to meet employment needs after the economy recovers from the pandemic. In Europe, unemployment is at an all time low Since the introduction of the euro currency in 1999.

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“We are seeing record levels of demand for our properties in many markets here in Europe,” said Marriott International CEO Anthony Capuano. “And so we are recruiting aggressively to make sure we are able to accommodate our guests as demand increases.”

Marriott jobs will largely be hourly positions such as housekeepers, kitchen staff, and front desk attendants.

European countries have welcomed the Ukrainians, and while Clements praised the opening of schools, workplaces and other opportunities for them, she said the same should be offered to others fleeing conflict. and crises in places like Syria, Sudan and Afghanistan.

Sedihi-Volchenko knows the challenges awaiting refugees, even as some companies offer help with language skills, counseling and training. Job listings can be difficult to decipher, and like them, they may have trouble securing a stable Internet connection or work clothes.

“It’s important to give the refugee enough time to learn the language, but the person can start working because if you have experience in IT systems or finance or project management or any other field, of course, you understand, it’s not so much about the language,” she said. Understand work flow.


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