Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Cisco joins Tent UK, a new coalition of companies connecting refugees to jobs

March 6, 2024

A guest blog by Adele Trombetta, SVP and GM Customer Experience (CX), Cisco EMEA.

Today the London Stock Exchange Group hosted a Market Opening ceremony to mark the launch of Tent UK – a coalition of over 70 businesses committed to connecting refugees to work.

This is a cause close to my heart, and one I am thrilled Cisco is supporting as a founding member.

At today’s event we had representation from apprentices on The Opportunity Platform (TOP) programme, powered by Cisco CX. These are individuals who have been displaced from their country of origin or place of residence for political, economic, ethnic, environmental, or human rights pressures.

Helena Paquin, Nataliia Nahach and Penny McCullough.

Cisco is committed to providing support during the refugee crisis. We know we can help by providing the tools and resources needed, alongside our people, technology and our programmes.

For example, last year we announced our commitment to train 10,000 Ukrainian refugees across Europe over three years. We’re incredibly proud that we’ve met and exceeded that goal by offering programming and cyber security courses in Ukrainian through our Cisco4Ukraine education programme as part of the Cisco Networking Academy. Cisco’s Talent Bridge Matching Engine then connects them to jobs across Cisco’s ecosystem.

In addition, Cisco has committed to hiring refugees across Europe into a two-year apprenticeship programme.

Providing refugees with professional career opportunities

Our TOP apprentices are thriving in their new roles and bringing great business value to all their projects. The Cisco CX apprenticeship combines on-the-job experience with training, so they get to work with experienced professionals in real live projects and go through relevant training, while earning a wage.

Our apprentices are developing their skills and talent towards securing a permanent position at the end of their contract. Going beyond recruitment and education, into professional development is an incredibly important step for us. The calibre of our cohort is phenomenal, and we are committed to providing them with the right support to help accelerate their future careers.

Both parties’ benefit. As Jen Stobart, UK Director at Tent, explains: “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.”

Powering an inclusive future

Our purpose as a company is to power an inclusive future for all by creating opportunities for people around the world. We are very proud to be joining Tent UK and other major companies that are committed to helping refugees become job ready and secure employment in the UK.

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