Job sectors With Potential opportunities
For Ukrainian refugees, we give details here of some sectors that may be hiring, which could be worth considering.
The usual way to search for jobs in the UK is to create a CV and search on job websites known as ‘job boards’ – we’ve listed some on this page: Finding Work. Don’t underestimate the value in forming British acquaintances and networks also, and letting them know you’re looking for work; if they subsequently hear of opportunities, they may tell you about them.
Your local council may have roles available, such as business administration apprenticeships. Local councils are a good employment option as the hours tend to be Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm and this will suit guests with young children. Employment benefits will also be good.
Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) is the professional status teachers in England gain at the end of their teacher training. Schools use QTS as a measure of teaching skills and experience, so you will find it much easier to get a teaching job in England if you have QTS.
You can refer to this link to understand where you can work as a teacher without Qualified Teacher Status, and how you can work towards getting qualified: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/find-a-job-homes-for-ukraine#teachers-from-ukraine
As there is a shortage of teachers in the UK, the Government wishes to encourage teachers from Ukraine to take up teaching here. This link describes the help available in terms of funding: https://getintoteaching.education.gov.uk/non-uk-teachers/ukraine.
It may be a good idea to get a job as a teaching assistant first before moving on to a teacher role. However, you will need a decent level of English to work in teaching.
There can be vacancies in nursery schools, not all of which require childcare qualifications. For example, there may be jobs as cooks or nursery assistants.
A job in a nursery is a good option for guests with young children, as it is a Monday to Friday daytime hours full-time job that is not ‘zero hours’.
As a real life example, we were able to assist a guest with securing a job as a nursery assistant with no prior experience of childcare, in 4 days from applying on https://uk.indeed.com/ to job offer. During school holidays, she will be able to leave her own young child at the holiday camp provided by the nursery for primary school age children, while she works.
If you haven’t worked in a nursery before, reading a bit about these areas beforehand will help you prepare for any interviews:
- Early Years Foundation Stage – this defines the standards for development of key skills at this age
- Safeguarding – keeping children safe
- Special educational needs (SEND) – children that need extra support
- Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications
- Paediatric first aid
- See this resource for example and https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/early-years-qualifications-and-ratios/early-years-qualifications-and-ratios
Retail, hospitality and gardening
There is certainly a shortage of workers in this sector. Shifts may sometimes be outside of the traditional 9 am to 5 pm core working hours, so it’s not always ideal for refugees with young children, and pay is not usually much more above minimum wage, but benefits of the job may include things like getting free meals during your shift. You can also practise your English and it could be a good option as a first job in the UK while you work out longer term career plans or gain the necessary requalifications.
There will be many reputable organisations (department stores, supermarkets, hotel and restaurant chains) that will be looking for staff. They will have structured salaries and employee benefits, and larger organisations will also have more opportunities for career progression. By no means an exhaustive list, these include companies such as Travelodge, John Lewis, Sainsbury’s, Young’s pubs, Costa and Marks and Spencer.
Jobs in hospitality can be found on general job boards or websites such as Indeed.com, Reed.co.uk or specialist job boards such as https://www.caterer.com/.
Also look at large companies that may be hiring workers for their office canteens. They could offer more 9 to 5 pm type hours. One such company looking for staff recently was a big American bank called JP Morgan.
Marks and Spencer is offering support to refugees who join them. Vacancies can be found here.
Pret a Manger is another organisation offering support to Ukrainian refugees through their Ukraine Employment Programme. Vacancies at Pret can be found here.
The National Trust is an organisation which manages many historical houses and gardens across the UK. They have vacancies for gardeners and assistants in their onsite shops and cafes. See https://careers.nationaltrust.org.uk/OA_HTML/a/#/search.
National Health Service (NHS)
The NHS is one of the largest employers in the UK, and it’s worth knowing that not all vacancies require you to have a medical background to apply.
Public sector pay follows strict banding, but it’s good enough and there are opportunities for training and career progression, good staff benefits and flexible working.
You could start with your local hospitals first; each hospital broadly speaking belongs to an NHS Trust which is the organisation responsible for operating it and which may advertise available vacancies.
You can also try following the career tool the NHS has created here: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/FindYourCareer – answer the questions and at the end, it will propose some career ideas and actual job vacancies based on your skill level and answers.
For qualified healthcare professionals, please see: Qualified Professionals as well.
You may consider pursuing a career in the care industry as there is a shortage of qualified and non-qualified care workers in the UK. Companies provide training on the job and often opportunities to complete training alongside working. Additionally, the average rates for care workers are generally above minimum / living wage levels and the staff benefits offered are competitive.
There may be shift work / evening work. For care work in rural locations, you may need to be able to drive to visit clients.
Working as an interpreter / using your language skills
If you are fluent in English, you could use this to your advantage by finding work as an interpreter. Many public sector organisations and charities such as the NHS, Government departments such as the Home Office, local councils and Citizens Advice will need interpeters to enable them to effectively serve the Ukrainian refugee community.
Telephone interpreting work can also be done from home. Agencies such as LanguageLine offer phone and face to face interpeting roles. An assessment of your skills will be done first.
Even if you are not fluent, you can still search for jobs that require Ukrainian or Russian speakers. You can enter search terms such as ‘Ukrainian speaking’ into the job search title on job boards such as those mentioned here.
IT remains a very buoyant sector, with demand for candidates at all levels, including graduates or candidates with little prior experience but demonstrable aptitude, that companies are willing to train. The sector is very well paid, but hours can be long.
There are many job boards advertising jobs in IT, such as LinkedIn and the other job websites listed in Finding Work; you can search for a job and save your search as an alert.
There are a number of opportunities available in construction, therefore starting a career in the industry even with an entry level role can be beneficial in the long run. Companies often provide opportunities for traineeships and apprenticeships which means that you can learn on the job as well as in education. Companies aim to retain individuals completing traineeships and apprenticeships with this approach, often leading to permanent or fixed term opportunities with the company.
As a result of the pandemic, all UK airports have staff shortages. Pay could be well above minimum wage and this could be a stepping stone to other opportunities, as there are many employers located within an airport (e.g. airlines, retail outlets, catering services, UK Border Force, as well as the airport operating authority itself).
Look out for airport job fairs where you can attend in person to hear about vacancies and meet potential employers.
Being in a location where you are able to get to the airport easily is a prerequisite, but they should have good transport connections. Unfortunately, this probably is likely to be shift work and wouldn’t suit those with young children.