Demand from businesses wanting to employ Afghan refugees has been “staggering,” according to a charity supporting the thousands of people arriving in the UK.
Breaking Barriers, a London charity providing training and support for refugees to secure stable employment, said its network of 25 partner-employers will likely more than double in the space of a week.
The government said about 8,000 Afghan former UK staff were airlifted from Kabul in August after the Taliban swept across the country and seized power. A further 20,000 will come to the UK over the next five years as part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ‘operation warm welcome.’
“It’s been really encouraging from a civil society and business perspective,” said Jessica Ridgewell, Breaking Barriers’ senior business development manager. “Businesses want to understand how they can be responsible, do their bit and take action.”
Ridgewell said the demand has been staggering and is coming from a broad spectrum of industries. “It’s been a busy week but it’s been very encouraging and very heartwarming,” she said, adding: “We’ve had a whole number of inquiries from businesses of all shapes and sizes, from a dairy farm to tree surgeons to pharmaceutical companies to large national and global businesses.”
Leading voices on refugee rights in Westminster welcomed society’s outpouring of support for Afghan refugees.