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Amazon, Marriott and Other Companies to Hire Refugees in Europe

Multinational companies, including Amazon, Marriott, and others, vow to hire thousands of refugees in Europe. Credit: Public Domain

Major international companies, including Amazon, Marriott, and Hilton, made a significant announcement on Monday. They have committed to employing over 13,000 refugees in Europe over the next three years. Among these refugees are Ukrainian women who have fled the war with Russia.

With World Refugee Day just around the corner on Tuesday, more than 40 corporations have expressed their willingness to provide opportunities to a total of 250,000 refugees.

Out of this number, 13,680 individuals will secure jobs directly within these companies, while others will benefit from job connections and training programs.

Kelly Clements, the U.N. deputy high commissioner for refugees, emphasized the importance of these commitments.

She acknowledged that behind each number lies the story of a family who left their homes, sacrificing everything in search of safety, protection, and the chance to rebuild their lives as swiftly as possible. Therefore, the commitments made by businesses on Monday hold immense significance.

Clements further highlighted the alarming global displacement crisis, stating that a staggering 110 million people have been displaced worldwide. Among them, an estimated 12 million are from Ukraine, with nearly half of this number residing in Europe.

This constitutes the largest movement of refugees the continent has witnessed since World War II, Clements further pointed out.

Initiative by “Tent Partnership for Refugees’

An initiative to enhance employment opportunities for refugees in Europe has been organized by the Tent Partnership for Refugees. This nonprofit organization, established by Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, serves as a bridge between businesses and refugees.

The first summit held by the group in the United States last year resulted in commitments from various companies to employ 22,725 refugees.

In this latest commitment, Amazon leads the way by pledging to hire a minimum of 5,000 refugees in Europe over the next three years. Following closely behind are Marriott and Hilton, each committing to employ 1,500 refugees.

Starbucks and ISS have made commitments to employ 1,000 refugees each, while other brands such as Adidas, L’Oreal, PepsiCo, and Hyatt have made smaller commitments.

Ofori Agboka, Amazon’s Vice President in charge of human resources, expressed the positive impact this initiative will have on the company.

He believes that diversifying their workforce will strengthen the company as a whole. The inclusion of diverse perspectives fosters innovation, creativity, and a broader range of insights, all of which contribute to the company’s growth and success.

‘Unemployment is at its lowest’ in Europe

In the wake of the economic recovery following the pandemic, companies are looking towards refugees to address their staffing requirements. In Europe, the unemployment rate has reached its lowest point since the introduction of the euro currency in 1999.

Marriott International CEO, Anthony Capuano, said there had been a surge in demand for their properties across various European markets. As a result, they are actively recruiting new employees to ensure they can effectively cater to their guests as demand continues to rise.

Marriott’s employment opportunities primarily consist of hourly-rate positions, such as housekeepers, kitchen staff, and front desk attendants.

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