Some 40 major British companies are said to be ready to employ Ukrainian refugees as soon as they arrive in the territory.
More than 45 large British companies testify to their desire to employ Ukrainian refugees. A solidarity movement in a context of criticism of the slowness of the government to welcome in its country those fleeing the Russian invasion.
An initiative led by a British entrepreneur
The forty companies that have already joined the movement ask the British government to make it easier for British refugees to obtain a visa. In fact, Downing Street has been criticized for having established visa conditions that are too cumbersome and rigid. Facing widespread domestic and international criticism, the country finally relaxed its entry requirements.
On Thursday, March 10, the Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, announced that “Ukrainians with passports will no longer need to visit a visa application center to give their biometrics before coming to the UK”. Despite this change, only Ukrainians with family in the archipelago and of Ukrainian nationality can aspire to obtain a visa. To date, just over 1,000 visas have been granted in the country.
Faced with this reaction described as not very supportive, the British businesswoman Emma Sinclair, co-founder of the Alumni society and UNICEF advisor since 2014, wants to respond with employment. Emma Sinclair told the BBC that she has several ancestors from Eastern Europe and the Ukraine, and she wants, through this project that she is still in its infancy, to help “tens of thousands” from the people. For her, the UK “Could you do it better” and “go faster” about Ukrainian refugees.
The initiative of the entrepreneur quickly resonated among British companies, of which about forty joined the project. The consortium, which brings together brands such as Asos, Marks & Spencer and Lush, says “fully committed to supporting Ukrainian refugees through employment and humanitarian aid”. Several companies would currently be “in talks with the Ministry of the Interior about the details of the boarding”that are not yet clear in terms of concrete actions.
A “purely altruistic” consortium
This solidarity-based initiative could replicate an existing need for labor among British companies and see in it a covert commercial maneuver. To this, Emma Sinclair replies that the consortium is “purely altruistic” and does not intend to take advantage of the situation.
The project leader argues that British companies are constantly looking for weapons and have “thousands of vacancies every day of the week”. For them, the lack of manpower is not a new situation, he concludes, thus implying that their approach is sincerely selfless. “We want to help, we want to see movement in the exponential number of refugees”she said.
Initially noticed by the Sunday Times, the consortium currently aims to help Ukrainian refugees, but hopes that specially established aid programs will eventually be extended to all refugees.
Several major British brands ready to hire Ukrainian refugees
The Marks & Spencer chain has already trusted that it is in “discussion with the Ministry of the Interior” about a humanitarian program and job aids for refugees.
The online fashion giant, Asos, has also joined the movement: “We are currently hiring a lot of engineers in the UK and we know that Ukraine is highly qualified in this field.”
Cosmetics brand Lush, for its part, has expressed its openness to Ukrainian refugees, telling itself “ready to consider refugees for any position, even those that we usually circulate internally.”
At the end of February, many British companies had decided to close their activities in Russia despite the economic repercussions.
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