September 2023


UKrainian support programme extended due to its success

"Due to the support of the Ukrainian Working in Warwickshire Programme, I have now got a job and I really enjoy it."

A programme created to help Ukrainian refugees in Warwickshire find employment has been extended due to its success.

The Ukrainian Working in Warwickshire Programme (UWWP), launched in September 2022, was originally intended to run for 12 months, but has been extended initially by a further two months until November 2023. Since delivery of the programme began, 205 Ukrainians have been referred to it and 124 have attended or completed it with 38 gaining employment across several industries, as illustrated by the chart (right).

The programme is delivered by Coventry and Warwickshire Community Development Agency (CDA), working closely with Warwickshire Skills Hub. It is also linked to the Fair Chance Employer Programme which shapes inclusive employment opportunities across Warwickshire.

The UWWP programme consists of five community-based employment support sessions. These provide accessible county-wide support to Warwickshire's Ukrainian communities, enabling them to explore employment opportunities and use their existing skills to fill skills gaps.

Among those who has completed the programme and started employment is Larysa Kushnir who is now working as an interpreter. Larysa came to the UK with her seven-year-old child under the Homes for Ukraine Scheme in December 2022 and lives with her sponsor. Having taught English in Ukraine for 21 years, she started the Ukrainian Working in Warwickshire project in February, with support from Employment Support Adviser, Maxine Wykes, attending weekly sessions at her local library.

Larysa was interested in working as a teaching assistant, but her biggest barrier was where to start as she needed to upgrade her qualifications. She also needed help composing a CV and cover letter and had only one reference, so the adviser supplied a second reference, removing that barrier to work.

Larysa attended all weekly workshops offered through the programme (A Guide to Employment in the UK; CVs and Applications; Interview Techniques) and attended one-to-one meetings for further support. The programme also helped her obtain a travel discount card so she could travel for interviews, employability workshops and meetings at the Job centre.

The workshops gave her all the tools she needed to search and apply for jobs, a better understanding of UK employers’ expectations, interview techniques and information about starting a job and paying contributions. A CV and cover letter were created and uploaded to Indeed to enable her to start job searching and a referral made for her to complete a Statement of Comparability, to convert her qualifications.

Support was then given for completion of an application for a position as an interpreter at Long Moor Training Camp. Her commitment and resilience was rewarded when, after interview, she was offered the job.

Larysa is enjoying her new job, in which she provides an excellent service while improving her own fitness and mental health in a role which allows her to fit work around her family life.

“I was looking for a work as a teacher assistant but faced some barriers as I had to upgrade my qualifications first,” she said. “But due to the support of the Ukrainian Working in Warwickshire Programme, I have now got a job and I really enjoy it. Thank you very much to all at for your wonderful support.”


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