Warwickshire scheme helps Ukrainian refugees back into employment - The Stratford Observer

Warwickshire scheme helps Ukrainian refugees back into employment

Stratford Editorial 21st Feb, 2023   0

UKRAINIANS are being helped into the workplace thanks to a Warwickshire-based scheme.

The Warwickshire Ukrainian Employability Programme is mutually beneficial to both local businesses and Ukrainian refugees. It helps businesses faced with skills shortages by filling these gaps with refugees looking for employment.

The scheme also gives the refugees access to employment workshops. These include ‘A guide to Employment in the UK’, ‘CVs and Applications’ and ‘Interview Techniques’, as well as English speaking classes.

There are over 100 Ukrainian refugees signed up for the programme and over 50 of these have now built their CVs and are working with the team to search and apply for jobs. Many have also improved their English skills thanks to ESOL lessons.

Nataliia secured employment in a school.

She came to the UK with her six-year-old child under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme last June and lives with her sponsor. In Ukraine, she used to work as a beautician before moving to the UK, where she started working as a seasonal fruit picker.

Nataliia was interested in working in the retail sector but her biggest barrier has been language. She attends weekly ESOL classes at her local community centre and all the programme’s workshops.

The workshops gave Nataliia the tools to search and apply for jobs and a better understanding of UK employers’ expectations, interview techniques and information about starting a job and paying contributions. A CV and a cover letter were created and uploaded to job sites to enable her to start job searching.

Nataliia applied to become a cleaner in her local school and after an interview – using google translate – was offered the job. She is enjoying her new job which fits around her family life.

She said: “I am very grateful to Leah and the programme. I came from Ukraine, and, for a long time, I could not find a job, and then my sponsors advised me about the programme. I came and did not regret it.

“I was met by a wonderful lady and listened to the entire course of lectures and things became a lot clearer. Leah helped me put together the right resume and helped me fill out the documents. Now I have a job and I am very happy that I went on the scheme.”

Warwickshire County Council’s economy spokesman Coun Martin Watson said: “That community spirit is one reason to be proud of Warwickshire. I am delighted that Nataliia has benefited from the scheme and found a job in which she is happy.

“The challenges that Nataliia, and everyone who has had to leave their homeland are facing, are hard for us to comprehend so I am proud that Warwickshire, as a county, has reacted in such a warm and welcoming way. The Ukrainian Working in Warwickshire Programme has proved to be an effective way to build inclusive jobs locally and boost engagement. And with it meeting a skills shortage that businesses are facing, it is a win-win for all involved.”

For more information about the scheme visit https://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/ukraine-2/information-ukrainians/6


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