Kyiv, December 18, 2015. One of the biggest problems that internally displaced people (IDPs) face at their new places of residence is to find a job. About 50 thousand citizens of Luhansk and Donetsk regions in need of employment have been registered by local-level state employment service offices. Jobs have been found for only 16 thousand of them. Moreover many IDPs have to change their professional qualifications: almost 60% of working places in Donbas were related to coal extraction while the needs of the jobs market in other regions differ significantly. Volunteer organizations have taken up the role of advisors who help solve the entire spectrum of employment-related problems. Maryna Lebed, coordinator at the Center for Employment of Free People and Denys Grechko, head of projects at “Goreniye” charity fund spoke at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center on how their organizations help IDPs find jobs and get new skills.
Volunteer organization Center for Employment of Free People assists IDPs from Crimea and Donbas, they also have the project “Respectable work for soldiers” for ATO veterans. The organization has offices in seven cities: Kramatorsk, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Lutsk and Kyiv. It gets supported by international donors including USAID, UCBI project, UNDP, International Renaissance Foundation, Rotary International and Save the Сhildren. “We are offering the vacancies that we have in our data base. These are the vacancies of employers supportive of the IDPs,” said Maryna Lebed adding that the center is actively partnering with the web site – vacancy data base Rabota.ua and HeadHunter company. The IDPs are not only assisted by offering vacancies but are also helped to prepare their CVs and get ready for a job interview. For this purpose training and career advising is being held. Vocational training and re-qualification are also an important part of the center’s work.
“An IDP can register, undergo selection and take part in free one-month training in occupations in demand like sales, SMM, marketing, HR etc.,” noted Lebed. There is also a training course open for all eager on developing personal qualities that employers value. Another project run by the center is Business Club, it helps people start their own business. Center for Employment of Free People has helped find jobs to four and a half thousand of IDPs, three and a half thousand IDPs have undergone about 350 training courses. Maryna Lebed said that the center plans to increase grant support for those starting their business.
Goreniye all-Ukrainian charity fund works in Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk, Poltava and Zakarpatska regions in close cooperation with the state employment service, social services, State Emergency Service and the Red Cross. One of the work streams of the fund is helping IDPs who want to start their own business at their new place of residence. “With the support by the Danish Refugee Council we have given 216 grants in Dnipropetrovsk region and about 200 grants supported by the International Organization for Migration,” said Denys Grechko. Grants are relatively small – up to USD 1,000 but they still represent considerable support for small businesses. The fund’s main direction of activity is primary free legal aid and legal consultancy. Over the lifespan of the fund its lawyers have received 25,870 claims that mainly concern IDP registration or prolongation of registration, social benefits, obtaining passes for crossing the contact line and employment. “Unfortunately employers do not always want to hire IDPs. Very often if they do hire them they try to do it illegally without providing the mandatory social package to them. It is one of the biggest problems,” explained Grechko. The fund also gets addressed re obtaining of passes for crossing the contact line. The fund plans to open legal aid centers in the towns on Ukraine-controlled territories – closest ones to the checkpoints on the contact line. “It is very important, it is one of our priority tasks,” noted Grechko. Moreover the fund plans to launch the online tool so that people from any location are able to address them.