Pret A Manger has hired 250 Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war at over 100 Pret shops across the United Kingdom as part of its employment program.
The refugees work in roles such as chefs, baristas, and front-of-house staff. The majority of those employed on the program are women whose partners and families remain in Ukraine.
The Ukraine Employment Program, launched in April 2022 after the Russian invasion, offers job opportunities through Pret’s charity arm, The Pret Foundation. The program provides financial aid, mental health support, English language tuition, and help with travel costs, vouchers for household items, and one-to-one counselling. The program is led by Ukrainian
“I’m extremely proud of every single person on the program and the feedback from shop managers has been fantastic – a testament to the Ukrainians’ hard work and dedication in the most difficult circumstances imaginable,” says Pret General Manager Viktoria Bertics Bertics.
“While they enjoy their new jobs and feel grateful for the opportunity Pret has given them, it becomes harder to cope with being away from their partners and families, many of whom stayed to fight in Ukraine or couldn’t leave. We will continue supporting them in every way possible.”
38-year-old Alina Yefimenko is among the women employed on the program and currently works front-of-house at Pret’s Chancery Lane shop.
“At first, I found it stressful coming into work and it was hard to deal with the emotional side knowing so many Ukrainians are suffering back home. But my manager and team have been very supportive, showing me kindness and treating me with respect. Now I feel more independent, my English is improving, and I have built lots of new relationships. I’m very grateful to Pret for the support they’ve given me,” says Yefimenko.
The Ukraine Status program was set up following The Pret Foundation’s initial donation of US$60,747 to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal in March 2022.
For more information, visit www.pret.co.uk