Url: https://www.johnlewispartnership.media/news/jlp/15072022/recruitment-fair-for-refugees-a-success?brand=jlp

Refugee recruitment fair success

  • Event hosted by John Lewis Partnership to support refugees in Milton Keynes
  • Over 90 people attended the sessions
  • With interpreters on site, experts talked through job opportunities and recruitment advice

A recruitment day held by the John Lewis Partnership to support refugees in and around Milton Keynes has proved a success, with over 90 attendees.

The first event of its kind that we’ve ever hosted, our recruitment fair was organised to help people who’ve fled conflict, with translators and expert recruitment advice. 

As well as sharing details of opportunities within the Partnership, our experts gave practical advice from interview tips to guidance on how to get the most from CVs and LinkedIn profiles.

One attendee, Anastasiia Svystun, moved to the UK from Sumy, Ukraine. Just 40km from the Russian border, the town had previously been occupied by the Russian military. 

‘It’s been really helpful’

Copy of JLP recruitment - Olena Haiduk and Yuliia Pavlovska took a tour of the John Lewis distribution centre

Anastasiia said: “People in the UK have been so friendly and understanding. I arrived in the UK at the end of April, so this is my first time at a job fair. 

“Back in Ukraine, I worked for a big company - and everyone felt like a big family. It feels similar to that today. I’ve spoken to at least ten people, to get advice and information - it’s been really helpful.” 

Also among the attendees were Olena Haiduk (an artist) and Yuliia Pavlovska (an accountant and seamstress), originally from Dnipro in central Ukraine.

‘People have been very kind’ 

Copy of JLP recruitment - Lilia and her mother, Oxana, speak with the John Lewis Partnership team

Olena said: “As an artist, I’m happy that I can continue my work here, sharing my work and culture with a new audience. But I’m also keen to find another job.

“Today has been great - we both spoke with lots of people about job opportunities with really positive feedback. People have been very kind; very helpful and all smiles.”


Notes to Editors

Partnership roles

Vicki Horne, Resourcing Manager for the John Lewis Partnership, organised the event. She said: “The turnout was brilliant. We met great people, each with their own backgrounds and experiences. 

“It cemented just how important finding employment work can be for people who’ve fled such difficult situations.  Their stories are so moving, and we’re hard at work to match candidates with rewarding roles.”

We’re currently recruiting for a range of roles across the Partnership, from John Lewis and Waitrose stores to office-based and distribution roles - like engineering technicians, drivers and warehouse teams.

From July, we’ll also be recruiting hundreds of temporary roles in stores and distribution centres, in preparation for a busy trading period.

We worked with the Department of Work and Pensions, Jobcentre Plus and the RFEA, The Forces Employment Charity, to reach as many local refugees as possible, and also opened the event to the wider public.

Supporting refugees

The Partnership has a history of supporting those affected by conflict. As well as being a long-term partner of the Red Cross’ Disaster Relief Alliance, we recently donated more than £1.6m to the British Red Cross. 

We also continue to work with the Polish Red Cross to send lorries of food and water to refugees from Ukraine. A group of Partners is currently in Krakow, helping distribute these essential supplies - the third trip made by the Partnership this year.

For a full list of vacancies across the John Lewis Partnership, visit the recruitment page here.

About the John Lewis Partnership
The John Lewis Partnership owns and operates two of Britain's best-loved retail brands - John Lewis and Waitrose. Started as a radical experiment over a century ago, the Partnership is now the largest employee-owned business in the UK, with over 80,000 employees who are all Partners in the business. The Partnership is purpose-driven, existing to create a fairer and more sustainable future for our Partners, customers, suppliers and communities. Our Purpose not only inspires our principles, drives our decisions and acts as our guide to be a force for good, it steers us to do things differently and better - all in service of creating a happier world for everyone and everything we touch.

Contact Details:

For more information please contact:
Luke Campbell - [email protected] / 07716 085 992