Seeking work since moving from Ukraine: Maryna’s story

Maryna was referred to the Making a Difference programme by her Jobcentre Plus Work Coach. She had moved to West Yorkshire from Ukraine under the Homes For Ukraine scheme and needed support finding work for the first time in the UK.

Maryna met 1:1 with Jude, her Making a Difference Employment Coach. They discussed the support Maryna felt she needed from Making a Difference and found that support in all aspects of job hunting would be suitable – the UK job market has noticeable differences to the job market in Ukraine. Maryna had obvious worries and concerns around the conflict in her home country but was determined to remain positive and gain employment.

In their first session, Jude reviewed Maryna’s current CV and identified that she had a range of transferable skills from previous work experience in Ukraine, particularly from customer service and retail positions. They were then able to ensure these transferable skills featured prominently on Maryna’s CV.

A significant barrier to Maryna finding work in the UK was her confidence in her English language skills. To combat this, Maryna signed up to ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) classes. Her 1:1 sessions with Jude also provided a good opportunity for Maryna to practice her speaking and listening skills outside of her classes – this helped to improve Maryna’s confidence in using English.

Jude also supported Maryna to access a range of job sites and she was able to utilise these job searching skills outside of her sessions with Jude to identify vacancies which would fit her skills and experience. Jude then provided Maryna with support in writing strong applications for these vacancies, supporting with cover letter writing and tailoring her CV to the specific roles.

When Maryna was offered an interview for one of the vacancies she had applied for, Jude tailored their next session to work on interview technique when they practiced with a mock interview. This session left Maryna feeling more confident going into her interview and she was successful in gaining employment within her chosen sector of retail.

About Maryna’s success within Making a Difference, Jude said:

“Maryna worked extremely hard to overcome barriers associated with moving from her home country and has been extremely productive in sessions, setting herself clear goals and actions. She put in great effort to prepare herself for her job interview and attended sessions for interview skills and interview practice. Her confidence in conversational English improved whilst she was on the programme, and it was a positive experience to work with her.”

Maryna said:

“I believe this experience will be useful to me in the future development of my career. I should also note that our meetings have helped improve my English skills. Thank you very much, Jude!”

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