OVO joins business consortium supporting Ukraine's refugees in the UK

23 May 2022

Monday 23rd May 2022: Since the conflict in Ukraine began, over 10 million people have been displaced. The business community is keen to support access to employment opportunities and provide other help required to overcome any barriers that might prevent those fleeing the horrifying crisis from working.  

OVO has joined a business consortium set up by Entrepreneur Emma Sinclair MBE to help Ukrainian refugees gain employment and ensure stability as they build their new lives in the UK.

OVO is committing to sponsor Ukrainian refugees coming to the UK via charity partner, RefuAid. OVO’s support covers costs for language classes, any professional requalification they might need, and initial financial support for essentials.

Over 120 large and small companies, including Mulberry, Currys, and Gousto, are part of the consortium. OVO committed to support 10 refugees, who will be employed in line with the engineering skills and experience they gained prior to leaving Ukraine. 

OVO is working closely with RefuAid to promote open roles to all refugees on RefuAid's database. This partnership has the potential to help both Ukrainian and other international refugees find suitable jobs and financial security as they make a home for themselves in Britain.

Charlotte Eaton, Chief People Officer, OVO said:

“We always try to put ourselves in the shoes of others to understand their experiences and make a positive impact - our customers, our people and our fellow human beings. We cannot even begin to imagine the difficulties faced by people fleeing from the war in Ukraine, but we can help. We are committed to opening our doors to support refugees finding work here at OVO. It takes strength and resilience to leave home and seek refuge in a foreign country, which is why our teams at OVO will make anyone looking for a new start feel welcome, heard and respected."

Emma Sinclair MBE, said: 

“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 3 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 requalified and secured legal roles within companies such as Credit Suisse, have seen a mother living in a homeless shelter with her two daughters requalify over 3 years and join the NHS as a consultant on a 6-figure salary. We want to speed that up, and allow them to help more people, whatever their country of origin.”  

Anna Jones, CEO, RefuAid, said: 

“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.”

END

For more information please contact:

[email protected] 

You can find out more on Refuaid’s website here.

\ About OVO 

OVO was founded in 2009 and redesigned the energy experience to be fair, effortless, green and simple for all customers.  The company has spent the last decade investing in the market leading technology, customer service operations and digital products to help members cut their carbon emissions. OVO is on a mission through its sustainability strategy Plan Zero to tackle the most important issue of our time; the climate crisis, by bringing our customers with us on the journey towards zero carbon living. OVO has committed to being a net zero carbon business and achieve bold science-based carbon reduction targets by 2030, while helping members reduce their household emissions at the same time.