Ukrainians settling in Scotland after fleeing the Russian invasion of their home country are being given a helping hand to secure a job during their stay.
Fedcap Scotland, a not-for-profit organisation with 85 years’ experience in the employability sector, has launched a campaign specifically aimed at supporting Ukrainians into work through Fair Start Scotland, the Scottish Government devolved employment support service.
Almost 200 people are being supported in their quest for sustainable employment – with nearly half having already found jobs in recent weeks within a range of sectors including retail and hospitality.
And four Ukrainian citizens, who originally came to Fedcap Scotland for support, are now working as employment advisers themselves, including Anna Kyryzliieva.
Anna came to Scotland with just one bag of belongings after her home in Mariupol was bombed. She was hosted by friends who lived in Ayrshire and she made contact with Fedcap Scotland’s Ayr office to look for work through Fair Start Scotland, which eventually led to Anna securing an employment adviser role within the organisation.
Anna is now the face of an innovative digital campaign run by Fedcap Scotland to encourage more Ukrainians to seek support. She has recorded a video in both English and Ukrainian that is being promoted through Facebook to reach as many people as possible.
She has now met Minister for Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead, to tell him of her journey from Ukraine to Scotland.
At the opening of Fedcap Scotland’s Ayr office this week, attended by Mr Lochhead, Anna spoke about her experiences and how she is now helping other Ukrainians through her role as an employment adviser.
Anna said: “When I came to Fedcap Scotland, my Fair Start Scotland personal adviser was Jenna. She created an absolutely awesome CV for me and helped me prepare for interviews, but the most important thing she did for me was give me back my confidence.
“Then one day – it was an absolutely brilliant day – I had an interview with Fedcap. I love my brilliant team. They helped me in my working journey and they helped me after I got the job. I am very appreciative.
“By helping people get a job, Fedcap Scotland is helping the process of Ukrainians settling in Scotland. When you come here, you are not sure what will happen in your future. Integration into society is important and when you find a job, you feel safe. And now I feel safe, I can help other people.”
Minister for Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead, said: “I’m delighted to visit Fedcap Scotland’s Ayr office to see first-hand how this not-for-profit organisation, together with The Lennox Partnership, is successfully delivering the Scottish Government’s employment support service across the East and South West of Scotland and hear about Anna’s remarkable journey from besieged Mariupol to Ayr.
“Fair Start Scotland has been assisting people who face significant challenges accessing the labour market – who now include those fleeing the war in Ukraine – since April 2018. In that time there have been more than 17,500 job starts from those supported, helping to tackle inequalities and grow Scotland’s economy.”
Brian Bell, CEO of Fedcap Scotland, said: “Anna’s story of leaving her homeland is sadly not untypical, and we want to help as many Ukrainians as possible. They’ve found a safe and welcoming home in Scotland, and we’re working hard with employers and other partners to find meaningful employment for them that will help them to settle more quickly into life here.
“We hope that our digital campaign, which is available in Ukrainian, Russian and English will help send the message that support is available to overcome any barriers they may face in their search for a job.”