Over 100 British businesses answer the call to help Ukrainians

More than 100 British businesses offer jobs to Ukrainians: Iceland, Tesco, AstraZeneca, Nestlé and Bernard Matthews are among UK firms to sign up to support refugees fleeing war

  • The consortium of companies say they can help and offer refugees new jobs
  • Today vaccine firm AstraZeneca, supermarket giants Tesco and Iceland joined
  • Turkey food giants Bernard Matthews also says it has ‘number of roles available’
  • Already M&S, Asos and Lush have said they want to take part in the huge push
  • Organiser Emma Sinclair said it was ‘reflection of the goodwill of everybody’

Over 100 businesses – from AstraZeneca to Bernard Matthews – have now joined an informal business consortium to help hire Ukrainian refugees when they arrive in the UK.

The project – dreamt up by Emma Sinclair MBE – has attracted other huge names including Welcome Break, Nestle and River Island.

Already Marks & Spencer, Asos and Lush have said they want to take part in the drive to help Ukrainian refugees.

Under the Government’s new sponsorship scheme, those fleeing from the war there will be given the right to work when their applications are accepted.

Ms Sinclair, the chief executive of Enterprise Alumni, has led the charge which has attracted significant support from British firms.

She told MailOnline this morning: ‘We have got over a hundred companies now saying they can help.

‘There are millions of jobs available in the UK and it will be benefit to the economy helping them.

‘It’s continually growing, it’s a reflection of the goodwill of everybody, people and businesses have felt a sense of powerlessness about what is happening in Ukraine and want to do something to help.

Ukrainian refugees queue to get one of the 100 daily appointments at the documentation office to apply for temporary protection approved by the European Union that allows residence and a work permit, in Torrevieja, Spain, earlier today

Ms Sinclair said the project is ‘purely altruistic’ and due to businesses wanting to help Ukraine

‘For refugees, when they have got somewhere it’s one thing to have accommodation but quite another thing to be able to feed your family and work.

‘I spoke to the minister for refugees Richard Harrington yesterday. The first process that needs to be addressed is getting people here as the first step, that’s clearly the early area for the Government.

‘What I am convening energy around is that if people are going to build successful lives here they are going to want to have a job.

‘As I speak, a huge effort is happening. The government need to create a database of where they will be resettled, to help match with employers in the future.

‘There are still things to consider – if you want to get a job you will probably need a laptop, if you have just fled a warzone you might not have brought that – but this is something that is growing with people wanting to help.’ 

Nestle’s head of talent has already contacted Ms Sinclair saying it wanted to get involved in what it described as a ‘fantastic initiative’.

More than 2.5 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, and European Union countries have let them come in without a visa for three years

Firefighters work today to put out a fire in a residential apartment building after it was hit by shelling as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Kyiv

A man carries a resident after she was rescued from a Kyiv apartment building that was hit by shelling as Russia’s attack on Ukraine

Which firms have said they have jobs or can help Ukrainian refugees get work in the UK?

Marks & Spencer







Circle Health Group



Bernard Matthews

City Plumbing



Robert Walters

Hill & Smith Holdings

Welcome Break

Staffline Recruitment Ltd

Poundland & Dealz

River Island


Global Logic

Portman Dental Care

City Plumbing



Online fashion house Asos said that they were looking to employ ‘double digits’ of refugees in their tech engineering roles based in the UK due to Ukraine’s ‘strong skill set in this area’.

Tesco has made 1,400 roles available for refugees in its central European business

It is establishing a Ukrainian language recruitment helpline and providing language training for successful applicants.

Mental health in the workplace app Tahora will offer a paid, 14 months community support and marketing apprenticeship.

Co-founder Ben Towers, 22, said: ‘Our role will be about working within the community and bringing people together.

‘I can’t think of anyone better qualified than a resident of Ukraine.’ 

And Bernard Matthews told Ms Sinclair it had a number of roles available and was keen to get involved.

More than 3 million people have fled Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, and European Union countries have let them come in without a visa for three years.

At least 4,000 visas had already been offered to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion to enter the UK.

The UK has been criticised for not allowing visa-free entry into the UK for Ukrainians whereas several other European countries have. 

A Downing Street spokesperson said: ‘This is exactly the kind of thing we appreciate — the generous British public offering to step up in this grave hour of need for our friends in Ukraine.’

‘We are standing shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainians which is why we’ve made it easier for those with valid Ukrainian passports to come here.

‘This is alongside changes to visas to ensure Ukrainians in the UK can stay here.

‘We have expanded our visa application capacity to 13,000 a week, deployed additional staff across the EU, with a 24/7 helpline in place to ensure those who need appointments can get them to come here.

‘This allows us to balance security risks while welcoming those in need,’ they added. 

Source: Read Full Article