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Woolworths commits to help displaced refugees enter the workforce

Woolworths Group has committed to helping refugees to find work by integrating them into the business’ core operations, becoming the first Australian business to sign up to the international Tent Partnership for Refugees.

As a member, Woolworths will be able to learn from other businesses in the partnership, and will be able to expand on its successful Refugee Employment program which has placed over 150 refugees in positions across its supermarkets, Metro stores and fulfilment centres since 2016.

“As the nation’s largest private employer, we want to help refugees build new, secure and fulfilling lives in Australia [and] we also believe our teams should reflect the cultural diverse communities we serve,” said Woolworths Group’s head of diversity and inclusion Rachel Mead.

“We’re committed to supporting access to employment pathways and opportunities for refugees, which wouldn’t otherwise be possible without our partners.”

The business also entered into a partnership with Australia’s first social enterprise bakery, The Bread and Butter Project, which provides training and employment pathways for refugees to help with their resettlement.

According to Mead, the supermarket recognises the importance of the diversity of Australia’s communities, and supports the rich exchange of culture and ideas.

“We are delighted to be joining Tent Partnership for Refugees and look forward to working together and exchanging ideas so we can create an even more diverse and inclusive workplace at Woolworths for the benefit of our team and customers,” Mead said.

The Tent Partnership for Refugees program has helped around 30 million refugees that have been displaced from their homes.

“It’s encouraging to see so many companies stepping forward at a time of crisis to show that refugees are needed on the road to rebuild our businesses and strengthen our communities,” said Tent CEO Hamdi Ulukaya.

“When given the chance, refugees will make our companies stronger and better. But it’s up to us to open the door and provide the opportunity.”

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