Latest News | 31 May 2023

Chambers unite to support refugees into jobs

East Midlands Chamber
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East Midlands Chamber is partnering with colleagues in Staffordshire to support refugees into work.

The chamber will work with Staffordshire Chamber of Commerce to develop refugees’ skills, employability and social integration, to help them into employment.

In response to the crisis in Ukraine, members of the chamber’s employment services team have been making weekly visits to Nottinghamshire Ukrainian Cultural Centre to help refugees arriving in the area.

The team has supported more than 150 individuals with personalised training courses, CV and job application writing, interview preparation, housing and financial assistance and introductions to employers.

Paul Needham, head of employment services at East Midlands Chamber, said: “Supporting Ukrainian refugees in Nottinghamshire over the past six months has been a really rewarding exercise for our team given the desperate circumstances these people find themselves in, and it has provided an important platform for introducing more families and individuals to our wide portfolio of employment services, which break down barriers to work.

“We now want to replicate this work in Derbyshire in partnership with Staffordshire Chamber, which has had great success within its own area, to provide further job opportunities that will enable refugees to integrate into our society and contribute to the communities they now call home.”

Among those who have been helped by the chamber is Ukrainian national Anastasiia Markeliuk, who has found work as a food and beverage assistant.

Anastasiia, who comes from Kherson, one of the first areas in Ukraine to be invaded by the Russian army and fled the country via Poland.

She said: “I am very grateful for the support I have received since I have arrived in the UK.

“The refugee community often features very skilled people who have a lot to offer and can make a real difference to companies, so I would encourage businesses to be open to the opportunities that employing refugees can provide.”

Individuals and businesses can find out more by contacting East Midlands Chamber’s employment services team at

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