Ikea to spend $110 mln on migrant labour integration
Ikea has pledged to spend over SEK 1 billion (110 billion dollars) to help migrants enter the labour market, APA reports citing Sputnik.
The aim of the initiative presented at the UNHCR's first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva is for as many refugees as possible to start working and providing for themselves.
According to Ikea, immigration is not just a task for the governments, but also for the private sector and civil society.
"This is not just a matter for governments. The private sector and civil society also need to help refugees integrate, get to work and be able to contribute positively to the communities where they live", Per Heggenes, Ikea Foundation CEO and former spokesperson of the late Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad said.
According to Heggenes, this money will be spent over the next five years to fund various programs and make refugees self-sufficient.
"We want to help change the story of refugees. It often tends to focus on problems, while we know that they are hard-working people and we want to help them become part of society", CEO of Ikea Foundation Per Heggenes said.
While the Ikea Foundation does not run its own projects, it has addressed refugee issues by funding various endeavours during the ten years that the foundation has existed. In addition to its recent billion-kronor pledge, the Ikea Foundation also collaborates on the refugee issue with Inter Ikea, which owns the Ikea brand and develops its portfolio with Ikea's twelve franchisees, and the Ingka Group, which runs the majority of the world's Ikea department stores, and a collaboration Per Heggenes describes as "unique in the Ikeasphere".
In concrete terms, it means Ikea department stores in some 30 countries will take on 2,500 refugees and give them job and language training, to increase their chances of employment with either Ikea or other companies.
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