County Voice

County Voice: September 2022

Ukrainian refugee receives support from Working Denbighshire

Professional Ukrainian refugee receives Working Denbighshire support to access a 3 month Work Start Scheme Placement at a local Café. This is with the added value of ‘In Work Support’ provided by the Work Start Team.

A attended a Jobs Fair that Working Denbighshire were hosting at Rhyl Town Hall in May 2022.

She introduced herself to the staff and gave an account of her current situation. As a result of the current conflict in Ukraine A was forced to leave, travelling to Poland with her 15-year-old son.

Under the Ukrainian resettlement programme, A was matched to a local host. She travelled from Poland with her son arriving in Rhyl in April.

A is now attending college 2 days a week engaging in the ESOL summer programme. A explained that she is very keen to gain employment, she has worked from leaving school, her profession in the Ukraine was that of a Psychologist supporting learners in a school setting. A requested a role where she would be regularly communicating with others such as café or retail work to assist with her language skills. After finding out how Working Denbighshire can support her, she self-referred to Working Denbighshire.

A was allocated to an employment mentor to provide support for her to meet her goals. Her enrolment was completed with her mentor and the support of a translator. At her initial appointment A completed the enrolment paperwork and provided evidence of being able to work in the UK. The translator also assisted A and her mentor to complete her CV to include all her past work history and qualifications. It was apparent quite quickly that she wanted to work urgently as she had always worked in the Ukraine and had excellent transferable skills to offer whilst also having an outgoing and very friendly personality.

Her mentor was aware of a 3-month Work Start Scheme placement at a local café which would provide the ideal opportunity for her. The opportunity was discussed with A and she was very keen to apply.

An appointment was made with the Work Start Scheme placement officer to discuss the placement and the application process. At the point of meeting A, the following actions took place:

  • Job description and person specification shared and explained.
  • A ‘Meet the Employer’ session was arranged, which was carried out informally where A could demonstrate her skill set and ask questions.
  • Application form completed with employment mentor and submitted.
  • Interview and placement offer.

The employer requested that A completed a Level 2 Food Hygiene Certificate prior to commencing her new role. A’s employment mentor was able to make sure this course was funded and assisted her to access it online. A went through the questions using a translation app on her phone and passed the course on her first attempt!

A received funding to purchase suitable clothing and comfortable footwear for her duties. Her employment mentor attended a local clothing store so she could choose and try on her new work clothes.

Whilst on placement, A will receive ongoing support to ensure she has a positive and meaningful work experience/ placement. This will include supporting her to apply for suitable vacancies as they arise in the local area. Having a nominated Mentor for her to raise any concerns and acting as an advocate will help prevent a breakdown in the placement.

We wish her all the best.


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