Cygnet has joined Tent UK, a new coalition of 70 major companies that are committed to helping refugees become job ready and secure employment in the UK.

Cygnet has been a longstanding member of the Tent Partnership for Refugees – a global network of companies committed to helping refugees access labour markets. To date, Cygnet has hired over 300 refugees and where appropriate has provided tailored training opportunities to support their career development.

Other companies joining the coalition include the likes of Amazon, Deloitte, McDonalds, Microsoft and Virgin.

Ben Hopewell, Head of Resourcing at Cygnet said: “Tent is an organisation that supports individuals in the UK who are under a refugee status in finding work, whether that be in their previous profession or a new career. We’re extremely excited to be partnering with them, to provide opportunities to skilled individuals, expand our talent pools and develop our knowledge and understanding around refugees within the UK.”

In recent years, the UK has welcomed more than 500,000 refugees with approximately half hailing from Ukraine and the remaining half from Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Syria, and elsewhere – yet many have been unable to find formal employment. While they have the legal right to work, refugees are over 20% less likely to be employed than Brits, with this gap widening to 30% for refugee women, according to the UK government.

At the same time, the UK is experiencing labour shortages, with almost one million job vacancies, across key industries such as hospitality, food service and others including manufacturing & healthcare.

“At a moment when UK employers face significant labour shortages, yet refugees across the country struggle to find decent employment, we see an extraordinary opportunity for our work,” said Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent. “The coalition of companies that has come together to launch Tent UK understands that we need to act at scale to help hundreds of thousands of refugees in the UK secure jobs, rebuild their lives, and integrate into their new communities. Tent is uniquely placed and ready to help companies develop ambitious programmes to include refugees.”

“Tent is immensely proud to have brought together 70 leading businesses resolved to connect refugees to meaningful employment,” said Jen Stobart, UK Director at Tent.

“Refugees face numerous barriers to formal employment, such as lower language proficiency, transportation issues, lack of childcare options, as well as a lack of social and professional networks. These hurdles require particular attention from businesses, who – by making small upfront investments and tailoring their hiring practices – can level the playing field and give a fair chance to the many refugees still looking for a job in the UK.”

Tent UK will offer participating companies a host of services free of charge including: resources and trainings for HR teams; the sharing of best practices and ideas distilled from Tent’s global network of over 400 major companies across a dozen countries who are hiring and integrating refugees into their workforces, as well as tailored programmes and insights to the UK market context; regular convenings and workshops with other Tent UK member companies for peer-to-peer learning; and introductions to best-in-class partners across the UK that can source refugee talent based on the type of roles, the location, and their past performance.