Charity lends LinkedIn profiles to refugees

The initiative from 180 Amsterdam and Refugee Talent Hub seeks to extend LinkedIn networks with former refugees or status holders.

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


180 Amsterdam has teamed up with Refugee Talent Hub to connect high profile professionals in the Netherlands with former refugees. . 

The social campaign saw 25 prominent professionals lend their LinkedIn profiles with 25 job-seeking former refugees, known as status holders. The initiative sought to draw attention to the approximately 80,000 status holders in the Netherlands who have received their residence permits so are allowed and want to work, but still cannot find a job. A situation which is exacerbated  by a lack of a relevant professional network and opportunities.

The campaign aimed to open up industry networks and create wider opportunities. Professionals including Anke den Ouden, General Manager at Microsoft, Nadine Beister, HR Director at Achmea, Pauline Bieringa, Managing Director at Triodos Bank and Joost Looij, Director ICT at Enexis have leant their LinkedIn profiles to the job seekers.

Each one of the 25 prominent business professionals shared their LinkedIn profile with 25 status holders for a two-week period. This included making their network available through their connections, title and profile picture. The 25 status holders featured in the campaign symbolise the approximately 80,000 newcomers without a relevant network in the Netherlands.

"We want to create awareness with this public campaign. To show that all of us, with our informal and professional network, can help others. And that it really doesn’t have to be that difficult to do so." explained Wilma Roozenboom, Director of Refugee Talent Hub.

Over half of status holders in the Netherlands are still without a job almost five years after receiving a residence permit. The industry is missing out on talented, resilient workers with unique lived experiences who just happened to have been born elsewhere. Due to a lack of exposure to the industry, this talent often goes unseen by employers.

Anke den Ouden, General Manager at Microsoft,  added: “I am really glad to be part of this campaign and to create awareness for such an important issue in the Netherlands. From my personal experience as well as from my work in Eastern Europe, I know very well how valuable it is for people to continue to play their part in society. We can all contribute by sharing our professional network with people who have lost theirs.”

The ongoing and long-term collaboration between 180 Amsterdam and the Refugee Talent Hub aims to highlight the skills and talents of status holders as a valuable force in the labour market. In an industry squeezed for talent, the initiative shows the power of connection and how opening up opportunities is mutually beneficial to both talent and employers.

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