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Food manufacturer partners with Scottish Refugee Council

Two new recruits are among the first to join growing ingredients firm

One of Scotland’s largest food ingredient manufacturers has officially partnered with Scottish Refugee Council, directly resulting in the appointment of two new members of staff.

Following an open day and three-day work trial at Macphie Ltd, the partnership has enabled two refugees who arrived in the UK after fleeing war in Syria to be welcomed to the team as production operatives at the firm’s recently refurbished Tannochside factory.

Macphie hopes to be able to integrate more refugees into its growing team in the months ahead as production at Tannochside expands.

Scottish Refugee Council explained some of the challenges that refugees face when looking for paid employment and has worked closely with Macphie to help adapt the company’s recruitment and induction process, making it more accessible.

Anita Yu, Employability Support Officer at Scottish Refugee Council and facilitator of the partnership with Macphie, said: “We were delighted when the team at Macphie reached out to us through Tent Partnership for Refugees. It’s wonderful that our collaboration has already enabled two refugees in our programme to join the manufacturing company.

“The people we work with have fled horrific situations around the world and come from countries where conflict and human rights abuses are rife.

“When refugees arrive in Scotland, new and challenging journeys begin. Not only do they have to contend with the disorientating process of settling into a new country, but their qualifications might not be recognised in the UK. They might not be aware of their employment rights, and there is also a language barrier.

“Many of the people we work with are highly skilled, experienced and qualified. Others have not had an opportunity to explore their potential due to circumstances in their home country. If given an opportunity to show what they can do, they can be an asset to any business.

“This is why it’s so important that we provide support to people in need of refugee protection as they start their new lives and that companies recognise the promise and potential that Scotland’s refugee communities bring, like Macphie has.”

Scottish Refugee Council supports candidates with information sessions and employability training. This includes how to create a CV, interview skill sessions, mock interviews and explaining employment rights and benefits. They also work in partnership with employers, supporting them throughout the process.

Andy Stapley, Chief Executive with Macphie, said: “We are thrilled to have partnered with Scottish Refugee Council and fully believe in everything that they stand for. We are committed to the principles of fairness, consistency and equality in the workplace and believe that everyone should have equal access to employment.

“We think it is so vitally important that we help support refugees as they integrate into their new lives and that companies should make a conscious effort to employ through the Scottish Refugee Council programme.”

Macphie is an internationally renowned ingredients manufacturer that was established in 1928 and now employs more than 250 people across its three sites.

The firm has grown from its roots as a craft baker into an ingredients supplier with revenues of over £60m, supplying global food brands, household name businesses and the wholesale sector.

Its vision is to be the go-to partner for food brands around the world, turning ideas and creativity into practical solutions. That and its “simply clever” strapline reflects its passion in making life easier for chefs and bakers.

Sustainability has been a key element to the fourth-generation family firm. It was among Scotland’s first businesses to achieve B Corp status in 2015, having successfully evidenced an unwaveringly high standard of social and environmental performance.

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