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

Wednesday 6th March 2024 10:30

Representatives from various companies, including Thames Water, at the Tent UK launch

  • Thames Water is one of 70 major businesses joining forces to advance the labour market integration of refugees in the UK. 
  • This supports the company’s plans to build a pipeline of skills from local communities and represent the communities it serves. 
  • Thames Water is currently the only water company in the UK to have joined the Tent UK partnership. 

Thames Water has today announced it has joined Tent UK, a new coalition of 70 major companies that are committed to helping refugees become job ready and secure employment in the UK. 

As part of its skills strategy, Thames Water, is looking to hire refugees into a range of roles across its operations across London, the Thames Valley and Home Counties. The company will also provide free pre-employment training programmes. This comes as part of the company’s commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce while forging necessary skills for the future.  

In recent years, the UK has welcomed more than 500,000 refugees yet many have been unable to find formal employment. While they have the legal right to work. According to, refugees are over 20% less likely to be employed than British nationals, with this gap widening to 30% for refugee women.  

At the same time, the UK is experiencing labour shortages, with almost one million job vacancies, across key industries such as hospitality, food service and others including manufacturing & healthcare.  

Karima Khandker, Director of Resourcing, Skills and Equity, Diversity & Inclusion at Thames Water said: “We are committed to working with TENT UK in helping refugees find and establish the right job for them, as they build a new life for them and their families.  

“As the only water company to partner with TENT UK, we are giving refugees the opportunity to help provide an essential service to nearly 16 million customers every day. We are hiring into a range of roles in across our business and will also offer free pre-employment training programmes to help those integrate into the workforce.  

“This is a noteworthy opportunity to support both refugees into work, and our plans to build a pipeline of skills from our communities to ensure we have a diverse and inclusive workforce that represents the customers we serve.” 

Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent said: “At a moment when UK employers face significant labour shortages, yet refugees across the country struggle to find decent employment, we see an extraordinary opportunity for our work. 

“The coalition of companies that has come together to launch Tent UK understands that we need to act at scale to help hundreds of thousands of refugees in the UK secure jobs, rebuild their lives, and integrate into their new communities. Tent is uniquely placed and ready to help companies develop ambitious programmes to include refugees.”  

Jen Stobart, UK Director at Tent said: “Tent is immensely proud to have brought together 70 leading businesses resolved to connect refugees to meaningful employment.  

“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.” 

Tent UK will offer participating companies a host of services free of charge including: resources and trainings for HR teams; the sharing of best practices and ideas distilled from Tent’s global network of over 400 major companies across a dozen countries who are hiring and integrating refugees into their workforces, as well as tailored programmes and insights to the UK market context; regular convenings and workshops with other Tent UK member companies for peer-to-peer learning; and introductions to best-in-class partners across the UK that can source refugee talent based on the type of roles, the location, and their past performance.  

Find out more about Thames Water careers: