Pret A Manger hires 250 Ukrainian refugees in 100 shops across UK
Pret A Manger has hired 250 Ukrainian refugees as part of an employment programme that offers job opportunities at Pret shops through the retailer’s charity arm, The Pret Foundation.
The scheme was launched in April 2022 following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Pret said most people employed on the programme are women whose partners and families have stayed in Ukraine, some to fight in the war and others who are unable to flee the country.
Several of the women have now progressed to roles such as chefs, baristas and front-of-house staff serving food and coffee to customers in over 100 shops across the UK. Others have risen to become kitchen and front-of-house team leaders, while two will be starting an assistant manager course this year.
In addition to employment, the programme offers refugees help with travel costs to and from work, vouchers to buy household items, and one-to-one counselling. English language tuition and support with finding accommodation is also available.
The programme is led by Viktoria Bertics, a Ukrainian general manager who has worked at Pret for 17 years and previously managed several different shops both in the West End and City of London.
Bertics said: “I’m extremely proud of every single person on the programme and the feedback from shop managers has been fantastic – a testament to the Ukrainians’ hard work and dedication in the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
“While they are enjoying their new jobs and feel grateful for the opportunity Pret has given them, it’s becoming much harder to cope with being away from their partners and families, many of whom stayed to fight in Ukraine or couldn’t leave. As the war goes on, we will continue supporting them in every way possible.”
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