Published on 12th April 2022
Almost 4.2 million refugees have left Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on 24 February 2022.
The sudden onset of the conflict meant that Ukrainians had little time to react and left everything behind when they fled.
Countries across Europe have put in place swift measures to deal with the influx of refugees seeking to rebuild their lives.
From transportation and accommodation to psychological, legal and administrative support, refugees from Ukraine are in a vulnerable situation and require help from those who can offer it.
The EU promptly announced that refugees arriving from Ukraine will be granted temporary protection that will allow them to live, work and study across the Union. It then rolled out a 10-point plan for Ukraine of which the Cohesion Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) instrument – which aims to financially aid refugees via the EU budget – is a vital part.
From working permits to discretionary funds and the provision of housing, countries have also taken unilateral steps to aid citizens fleeing Ukraine.
The Czech Republic has activated its Migration Wave Preparedness Plan that will help refugees apply for a special type of visa through a simplified procedure. In Hungary, the government is providing financial support for companies that employ Ukrainian citizens. Further abroad, Portugal launched an online jobs platform, Portugal for Ukraine, that received over 2,000 job offers from all over the country on the day it launched.
As many governments are looking for new ways to support these new arrivals, the private employment services industry must continue to urge them to harness our knowledge and expertise to help create pathways to employment.
Finding employment is crucial for helping people to develop a sense of economic independence and certainty, and if desired, establish themselves in new communities.
We are proud to see the mobilisation of our industry in helping displaced Ukrainians access temporary working opportunities, guidance and resources. All across Europe, our members are working to aid refugees as best they can. This has led to the development of initiatives such as Employ Ukraine and Jobs For Ukraine.
Within countries, our members are working hard to support refugees as best they can. To give an example, the Polish HR Forum, alongside the Supreme Bar Council and the Lewiatan Confederation, signed a cooperation agreement to support Ukrainian refugees with legal assistance and help them find employment.
In other countries, our industry is coordinating with the UNHCR and trade unions to provide financial aid, training opportunities and direct allowances to Ukrainian workers and those who welcome them into their homes.
Our sector is also positioned to provide training programmes covering a wide variety of skills, including linguistic training, to help with the integration process.
The war in Ukraine has upended much of what we take for granted and does not appear to be ending any time soon.
The private employment sector will continue to offer what assistance it can to the millions of Ukrainians whose lives have been devastated and changed forever.