From education to employment

Ukrainian refugees re-build their lives with the help of Access Training (East Midlands) Ltd 

Group of Ukrainian learners smiling at the camera

Ukrainian refugees in Derby are being offered valuable support in finding employment, with the help of Access Training (East Midlands) Ltd.

A series of one-week training courses, delivered in partnership with the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (Derby Branch), have now been attended by four different cohorts, consisting of over 40 people.

The training covers everything newcomers to the UK may need to know when building their confidence in a new country or applying for employment, including British values and culture, conduct, working in a team, work awareness, preparing for work and interview skills.

Many of the learners had jobs in Ukraine, some of which were at university degree level. However, language and a limited understanding of the local culture can easily knock confidence and become barriers to integration in the UK.

Olena Maksymtsova and Olha Lypchynska are Ukrainian refugees who are currently living with sponsor families. The course has not only given them the confidence to find work but, as Olena points out, has given them “an understanding of English culture and the expectations and behaviours required at work.”

Both learners were interviewed for health and social care roles with the ICare care home in Derby, and were offered paid work immediately afterwards.

Kathryn Harrold, Employability Trainer at Access Training (East Midlands) Ltd, said:

“The course gave the learners new-found confidence in navigating the UK workplace, at a time of particular anxiety. You can see from the faces of the group that it was a success!

“It was a learning experience for me too. I didn’t realise that smiling is not always considered appropriate for women in Ukraine. It’s only a subtle difference in our two cultures but could have inadvertently held an individual back at interview stage.”

Access Training plans to hold more courses to support an even greater number of Ukrainians seeking to re-build their lives in the UK.

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