The Unipart Outstanding Employment Award: NEMI Teas

Winner of Business in the Community’s Unipart Outstanding Employment Award 2019 – Small Company.

NEMI Teas: Helping refugees find work through experience, training and language skills

  • 12 out of 18 refugees have secured jobs
  • 20 per cent of NEMI Teas’ budget used to employ refugees

The challenges facing refugees arriving in the UK are numerous. Many find it particularly hard to find work due to a lack of local experience or language abilities. 

It is this problem – as well as a core belief that “we are born free and equal” – that is driving the London-based NEMI Teas to make sure all newcomers to the UK get the same opportunities as the locals do.
 
The company, which makes tea blends and sells them as loose tea or in biodegradable teabags, employs refugees to run tea stalls across London food markets, festivals, events and conferences. The initiative, known as Changing Journeys, allows refugees to boost their English skills, regain confidence and work on skills required to enter the UK job market.

“In today’s world it is imperative that local businesses provide support and opportunities to newcomers to help them settle in the UK.”

Pranav Chopra, CEO, NEMI Teas

NEMI Teas sets aside 20 per cent of its budget towards the hiring, training and upskilling of the refugees. They are all paid the London Living Wage and many are also employed to carry out commercial roles in the business, including sales and marketing, and distribution. Having gained the work experience and having a UK company on their CV, the scheme has enabled 12 out of 18 refugees to go on to secure both part-time and full-time jobs.
 
The company has tripled sales in the past 12 months, securing contracts with large corporates and restaurants that are looking to support businesses with a social conscious.

Information in this impact story was supplied by NEMI Teas.

What the judges said…

NEMI Teas told an inspiring story of their approach and ethos, and a product that has great social value. Their story can inspire other businesses and change perspectives on refugees, showing them to be a valuable talent pool for businesses”

John Neill CBE, Group Chief Executive and Chairman, Unipart

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