Ukrainian refugees are not labor migrants. How do they find a job abroad?

The full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused the largest migration in Europe in recent years.

Украинские беженцы – не трудовые мигранты. Как им найти работу за границей?

Since the beginning of the war, according to official data, almost 3.5 million of our fellow citizens have gone abroad . Will it be easy for them to find work abroad? Will they affect the Western labor market? Where can Ukrainians who have gone abroad look for work? These and other questions are answered by the expert-analytical center of the personnel portal

Russia's war against Ukraine has caused the greatest migration in Europe in recent years. According to the United Nations, almost three and a half million refugees have left Ukraine in search of security and protection from Russian military aggression since the beginning of the war. There are about 6.5 million internally displaced persons inside Ukraine.

Such numerous migrations cannot but affect both the economy of European countries as a whole and the labor market.

Even before the war, foreign companies willingly invited Ukrainian labor migrants to work. According to research , Ukrainian IT specialists were in the greatest demand among European employers. They were also looking for sales managers, specialists in construction and industry, medicine and pharmaceuticals, agricultural workers, warehouse workers, welders and locksmiths, and drivers. After the removal of quarantine restrictions, there was a shortage of staff in the service sector, namely in hotels and restaurants.

However, Ukrainian refugees are unlikely to fully compensate for the shortage of staff in these professional industries, as the structure of job offers for foreign search engines does not correspond to the portrait of specialists who have gone abroad. For example, according to the UN, most Ukrainian refugees moved to Poland (59.7%). More than 2.8 million people are seeking refuge in the country. About 90% of Ukrainians who have gone abroad are women and children. Men mostly stay in Ukraine. During martial law, men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from traveling abroad, with minor exceptions for some categories.

If you look at current job offers for foreign nationals in Poland, many are addressed to men. We need, in particular, masons, loaders, drivers, handymen for construction and production, plumbers, welders, utility workers and cleaners. There are far fewer vacancies for women.

Read also: About 12 million Ukrainians became internally displaced persons – Podoliak

Even if we take into account that Ukrainian refugees arriving in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia do not stay in these countries, but travel further within the Schengen area, this does not change the picture much. Local residents of European countries apply for well-paid vacancies of highly qualified specialists. The staff shortage is mainly in the position of low-skilled staff.

It is clear that Ukrainians who have moved abroad and lost their permanent income need work. You can look for a job in a remote format in Ukrainian companies, a freelance job or official employment in the country of residence. The right of official employment gives Ukrainian refugees temporary status or refugee status. Refugee status can take up to 15 months. During this period, the foreigner does not have access to the labor market. The Temporary Protection Directive, adopted by the EU Council on 4 March, provides for the right to formal employment, but not in all countries. Yes, this mechanism does not work in Denmark, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. In addition, the rules of residence and the rights of migrants differ in different European countries.

In order to apply for a well-paid job in their specialty, Ukrainians need to prove their qualifications, good command of English and / or the language of the country of employment, be competitive with other applicants, especially in high-skilled competition among local candidates.

Ukrainians who are waiting for status and permission for official employment should start actively looking for work now. For this purpose it is necessary to address in local employment agencies, to check vacancies on personnel portals not only western, but also Ukrainian. In addition, Telegram communities have now been set up to publish current job offers. There are specialized channels in professional fields, countries. For example, UA Talents | KSU (Creative Forces of Ukraine), UaJobNow and others.

Read also: Employers will receive money from the state for each employed migrant

At the same time, with the start of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, almost 400,000 citizens returned , most of them men. Border guards do not ask everyone about the purpose of returning to Ukraine.

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