Pottery firm pledges jobs for Afghan refugees in Stoke-on-Trent

Wade Ceramics has pledged to offer job opportunities to any of the Afghans who are set to be settled in the area through a government scheme, following the fall of their country to the Taliban. Credit: Wade Ceramics

Afghan refugees arriving in Stoke-on-Trent will have the opportunity to apply for jobs at a pottery firm.

Wade Ceramics says it will offer jobs to any Afghans who are settled in the North Staffordshire area, after fleeing the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

It comes after the announcement that 25 families are due to be settled in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire under the Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Police (ARAP).

These people - many of whom worked for the British forces in Afghanistan and would be at risk from the Taliban - will be offered indefinite leave to stay and will have the right to work, the government has said.

The company's managing director, Paul Farmer, says the new arrivals would not need experience in ceramics to apply. Credit: BPM

Wade Ceramics says it has 10 roles to fill, including bench casters, fettle spongers, hand dippers and lithographers, at its Bessemer Drive headquarters, in Etruria, and at the Paragon Works factory in Longton.

Paul Farmer added: "They'd obviously have to be the right people for the job, but they don't have to have any experience in ceramics as we'll be able to train them up.

"We have jobs available at both of our sites.

"There are a lot of companies in the area which have vacancies at the moment, including ourselves and Steelite. And it's not just ceramics firms, I think JCB are recruiting as well.

"So this isn't a case of the refugees taking jobs away from anyone – there are lots of vacancies."

Wade Ceramics is looking to fill 10 roles, including bench casters, fettle spongers, hand dippers and lithographers Credit: BPM

Stoke on Trent City Council says it is in the process of co-ordinating support for the Afghan families through its Stoke-on-Trent Together initiative.

Council leader Abi Brown says the authority has been overwhelmed with support from charities and organisations.

She said: “Across the city people have been moved to ask what they can do to support any refugees from Afghanistan, having seen some of the heart-wrenching situations people there are finding themselves in.

"We all know that Stoke-on-Trent is the kindest city in the UK – our citizens have proved this time and time again and this time is no different. From Lidice to Syria to Afghanistan, the people of Stoke-on-Trent have a proven track record of supporting others when they need it most.

“And while so much is still unclear about the refugees coming here. What we do know is that many people want to help.

"We’ve once again partnered with VAST, and other partners in the voluntary sector, and we’re urging those grassroots organisations, community groups, businesses and individuals who want to help to get in touch to let us know what services they can provide.

"This will allow us to coordinate all these offers of support quickly across the city to make the biggest difference.”

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