Airport services company Menzies Aviation has committed to hiring 150 refugees to mark World Refugee Day, as part of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. 

The UK-based company, which operates air-side logistics and cargo services globally, has already employed 20 Ukrainian refugees since the Russian invasion of the eastern European nation in February 2022. 

Menzies made the pledge at the Tent European Business Summit in Paris, which was organised by the Tent Partnership for Refugees – a network of at least 300 global companies working to aid the economic integration of refugees wherever they now call home. 

The aviation company, which last year expanded its board after being acquired by Agility, has set itself the further goal of recruiting a refugee workforce equivalent to 1% of its overall employee numbers. 

Menzies Aviation chief people officer Juliet Thomson explained: “Menzies is committed to supporting refugees, breaking down the barriers they may face in finding work and we welcome the opportunity for further diversity that hiring refugees brings.

“Businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new host communities and they have much to contribute but will often struggle to understand the systems and culture in their new country to enable access to meaningful employment.

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“Not only is it the right thing to do but supporting refugees also leads to hugely loyal and hardworking employees.” 

Tent Partnership for Refugees founder and president Hamdi Ulukaya explained some of the challenges Ukrainian women, especially, face since fleeing their homeland. 

Ulukaya said: “Ukrainian refugee women face many hurdles when finding jobs – from not knowing the local language to having to juggle childcare responsibilities. Businesses must do more to reduce these barriers and help these incredible, strong, talented people enter the workforce.

“The moment a refugee gets a job is the moment they stop being a refugee. I’m so proud that the companies stepping up today, including Menzies Aviation, will help Ukrainian women and other refugees across Europe stand on their own two feet, giving them a chance to live lives of dignity.”

The majority of refugees from the war in Ukraine are women because men of working age have been required to stay in Ukraine and support the defence effort. 

Of the Ukrainian hires already made by the aviation supplier, the majority are based in Europe but Menzies added that two employees have recently joined in Montreal, Canada.