Job Clubs help Ukrainian arrivals find employment

Job Clubs help Ukrainian arrivals find employment

The Job Clubs started on May 20, alternating between sessions for those whose members are already able to get a job with their existing specialisation, and sessions helping those whose English is not yet good for a professional job, explained Debbie Hayes, working with Julie Nicholds as Tunbridge Wells Ukraine Refugee Support Group (TWURSG).

TWURSG is a sub-group of charity Tunbridge Wells Welcomes Refugees.

“Ukrainians can book a space by emailing us on and putting Job Club in the subject line,” said Debbie.

“We are ready to place those with ‘professional’ level English. “At the first ‘professional jobs club’ on June 10 – this is the group whose English is fluent – we had an oncologist, a couple of lawyers, a marketeer, HR, IR, QA (Quality Assurance)… we have such a variety,” she stressed. “The room can hold 20, and we were full.

“Meanwhile, our English lessons support those that don’t speak the language and we also hold jobs clubs for those with beginner English and talk to them about vacancies that do not require much English and get those type of companies to attend the club,” she added, giving examples including production lines, factories and self-employment in cleaning.


“I am aiming to get all Ukrainians who want to work into a job”


“I’m sure we can get people in the hospitality sector,” she added. “Wagamama has already advertised on our Facebook group, looking for people.”

“We are also running a jobs fayre/networking event in Royal Victoria Place upper level on June 29 at 10am-2pm, where Ukrainians in Tunbridge Wells and the surrounding area can book to attend and meet all local shops and businesses that have vacancies.

“I am aiming to get all Ukrainians who want to work into a job” said Debbie. Acknowledging that many of the Ukrainian arrivals were effectively single mothers, meaning childcare could be a constraint for job-seeking, she called for a team effort, which might involve babysitting circles amongst Ukrainian arrivals, or asking host families to listen out for the children overnight, while a mother went out to work.

“The key thing where we’ve got mothers with kids – one could earn by looking after children for the others. There are teenagers looking for pocket money as well. “There are also some 22-26 year-old females who are able to work full-time.”

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