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Building Bridges to Career Opportunities

By Jason Phillips

Building Bridges to Career Opportunities

By Jason Phillips

Published 06-24-22

Submitted by Cisco Systems, Inc.

sunset on the beach

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) there are 29 active situations involving refugees, with a resounding impact upon 149 countries. Cisco has various efforts in motion to support refugees and one of the most recent efforts is connecting them with job opportunities.

We’re bringing our existing resources together to support refugees, wherever they may find themselves. Knowing their lives have been forever changed, and though we cannot alter their circumstances, we can help bridge the gap they have in employment. Even when they possess work experience and professional degrees, they often encounter systematic barriers to employment are not able to get work in the areas they are trained for and remain unemployed or under-employed. Meanwhile, refugees are an untapped talent pool while many companies are struggling to find workers.

Many companies want to help refugees. They want to bring them into their workforces, and with our Talent Bridge Matching Engine platform, we can match skilled talent with job opportunities. This is our way to create a connection between the two and support building an inclusive workforce. The platform helps close that gap by matching skilled refugees with jobs.

Our tool is now available to any refugee, anywhere. Working in collaboration with our development partner, Channel Mechanics, we modified the platform to make it accessible to refugee candidates. The Matching Engine features both technical and non-technical opportunities in over 180 countries and is offered in 17 languages. Each candidate is matched with job opportunities based upon their qualifications and the employer’s requirements. We initially built the platform in 2017, to help Cisco Networking Academy students and alumni, but we’ve since evolved it to include more candidates, employers, and currently maintain an average of 6500 available opportunities.

Cisco’s Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer, Francine Katsoudas, shared how “in times of crisis, we at Cisco come together and question how we can help those most in need. This unifying motion in our culture reflects the generous spirit of our people and a set of reflexes we have developed over time by conscious attention and intention to make a positive impact in the world.”

Collaboration is key to success and fundamental to how we work to bring these opportunities to fruition. That is why our Talent Bridge team is using a multi-pronged approach to promote the availability of the Matching Engine and collaborating with several Cisco teams that are already working on refugee-focused projects.

  • Our Cisco Crisis Response team, in partnership with NGO and UN partners, has been actively responding to refugee crises in Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa over the last 10 years. Cisco has been providing financial support and secure connectivity to the humanitarian organizations responding and enabling access to critical information and resources for those affected.
  • We are working closely with the Country Digitization Acceleration team to reach refugees directly through various projects designed to support these communities.
  • We’ve paired up with volunteer employees to support Ukrainian refugees. These grassroots efforts provide information and resources for locals who are helping their communities.

We can create a positive ripple of change when we provide useful tools and empower others to change their lives. Help us reach those who need job connections by spreading the word.

  • If you are a Cisco partner or work with NGOs and want to collaborate with us on this job outreach, please contact or learn more directly on our Talent Bridge site.
  • If you’re a refugee, set up your Talent Bridge profile to start reviewing your matched opportunities.

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