CASE STUDY: The Growth Company
The Growth Company and partners have created United for Ukraine, supporting evacuees settling in the North of England.
‘United for Ukraine’ was formed by a coalition of business leaders and organisations across the north of England – including the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and North West Business Leadership Team (NWBLT), with support from the NP11 group of Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Set up in response to the crisis in Ukraine, it supports evacuees coming to the region – because finding a job and accessing new skills in a different country, without the support of your family and friends, can be a daunting experience.
Behind the scenes, two key workers who are formerly from Ukraine are a crucial point of contact and help listen to and support queries from Ukrainian refugees. Their services and employment and education advice is truly making a difference and is a vital part in the refugees’ introduction to the UK.
Working with employers, the scheme offers good job opportunities in a supportive environment. The roles must be available for a minimum of three months, contain salary details and pay at least Real Living wage of £10.90 per hour and the appropriate rate for the role.
The website provides helpful information for refugees and a searchable list of vacancies from employers who have committed to providing them. It has received over 11000+ unique visits since being launched in April 2022 and has advertised over 250 vacancies from over 90 employers – free of charge – during that time. For employers, it is an easy and direct way to communicate job opportunities to Ukrainian nationals coming to the UK.
Through this service, direct support has been provided to 1600+ Ukrainian refugees. 150+ people are known to have found employment after receiving direct support from the initiative.
One of the people supported back into employment is Mariana. Mariana arrived in the UK in the Summer of 2022 through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme, with her 11 year old daughter, after fleeing her home country due to the Russian invasion. She arrived in Greater Manchester and has been living with her host ever since. Mariana has experience of working as a Sewing Machinist in Ukraine and contacted the United for Ukraine initiative looking for help in finding employment in the UK. The UFU team of Support Workers helped Mariana find support in improve her English and identified a suitable job opportunity. DRM Industrial Fabrics Ltd are an employer in Bury who had heard about the United for Ukraine online platform and wanted to advertise vacancies to Ukrainian refugees who have arrived in the region. After referring Mariana, DRM offered her a job opportunity. A Support Workers helped Mariana prepare for the interview and, after completing a short work trial, she was offered the job.
Mariana is still working at DRM today but is hopeful for a swift end to the current conflict so that she can return to the rest of her family in Ukraine.