Kier has become the first construction company to join a UK-based business consortium to support RefuAid and provide employment opportunities to Ukrainian refugees.
The consortium, which has been brought together by Emma Sinclair MBE and is in partnership with RefuAid aims to support those displaced due to the conflict in Ukraine and other countries.
RefuAid, a charity that seeks to provide innovative, practical, scalable and sustainable solutions to employment for refugees in the UK is working with language school partners across the country to help refugees reach the required level of English language to work and Kier has committed to sponsoring people through this programme.
As RefuAid looks to provide work opportunities based on each individual’s qualifications and experience, Kier will look to provide civil engineers, project managers, and more, the opportunity to work on construction and infrastructure projects across the UK. In addition, a range of support services, guidance and networks will be offered to every person who joins the Group.
Helen Redfern, Chief People Officer at Kier Group, said: “We are proud to join the consortium and to work with RefuAid in providing refugees with the structure and support to prepare them for working in the UK. Kier has a broad range of roles across the organisation and is well placed to help refugees find jobs which match their skills and experience in the construction and infrastructure industry.”
Emma Sinclair MBE commented: “My father’s side of the family came from Ukraine, fleeing pogroms and persecution. It is not surprising – but very uplifting – to see how quickly business has stepped up to fill an urgent gap in light of the Ukrainian crisis. There is an overwhelming desire to help refugees resettle and have meaningful lives, finding employment commensurate with experience.
“The slow, bureaucratic process to set up a life in the UK needs to be sped up. This launch initiative is the first step towards significantly accelerating the pace that the United Kingdom can do that – and do that better. A second large wave of supporters has been assembled and we will shortly be ready to expand the program further. I hope through this consortium that we are seeing the beginning of much needed blue print for how to help refugees arriving on our shores to lead dignified independent lives, for all our benefit.”
“Over the last three years, RefuAid have supported over 800 people with access to language tuition, finance, and employment. We’re keen to see that grow – and fast. RefuAid have watched as lawyers have re-qualified and secured legal roles within companies such as Credit Suisse, have seen a mother living in a homeless shelter with her two daughters re-qualify over three years and join the NHS as a consultant on a six-figure salary. We want to speed that up, and allow them to help more people, whatever their country of origin.”
Anna Jones, CEO, RefuAid added: “Forced migration is one of the leading issues of our generation. Whilst governments must be called upon to provide safe and legal routes to sanctuary more support is needed to enable people to rebuild their lives in the new communities they find themselves. This consortium displays the amazing capacity businesses and the third sector have to create change by working together to support people and RefuAid are thrilled to be a part of it.”