Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ukraine refugees face dwindling job opportunities in the U.K.

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Merely weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, the British government mobilized to offer asylum to people fleeing the conflict. Now refugees are struggling to find the high-quality jobs that their qualifications deserve.

As the Russo-Ukrainian war grinds into its third year, visas issued to first arrivals are approaching expiry just as the U.K. labor market cools and general interest in helping Ukrainians wanes. “Everything has changed. We’re not on the news anymore,” said Diana Kocheva, a refugee who helms a community of displaced Ukrainian tech workers based in London.

The Ukraine Family Scheme, which allowed Ukrainian nationals to join a family member in the U.K. for up to three years, closed to new applicants in February. An alternative program, titled the Homes for Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme, is still running. But extensions last just 18 months and Ukrainians can only apply for a new visa three months prior to their initial visa’s expiration date, adding to the uncertainty for those seeking work.

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