World Jewish Relief wins Government contract to support Ukrainian refugees into work

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World Jewish Relief wins Government contract to support Ukrainian refugees into work

The organisation, which helped bring Jewish refugees to the UK 80 years ago and counts King Charles as patron, was selected to provide employment support for up to 10,000 arrivals

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Prince Charles speaking at a WJR event
Prince Charles speaking at a WJR event

The government has awarded a major new contract to World Jewish Relief (WJR) to provide support for UK-based Ukrainians who have fled the war in Ukraine.

The groundbreaking scheme, awarded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), will enable the charity and British Council to offer up to 10,000 Ukrainians across the UK  intensive English language and employment support courses.

The aim is to help the Ukrainians access the jobs market and achieve their ambitions whilst here in the UK and the  joint programme is free and delivered virtually.

It comprises 10 weeks of daily English classes run by the British Council, and 12 weeks of employment support with a dedicated World Jewish Relief Employment Advisor, to assist with CV writing, job applications, interview prep, skills training and job search.

This new support will make it easier for Ukrainians to live independent lives in the UK.

To deliver the programme, WJR will scale up its existing Specialist Training and Employment Programme (STEP) which was launched in 2016 and supports 1,500 refugees in the UK every year on their journey into employment.

Paul Anticoni, Chief Executive of World Jewish Relief, said: “I am especially proud that World Jewish Relief, has been appointed to deliver this crucial programme for Ukrainians in the UK.

“It’s a ringing endorsement of the unique talent and expertise we have within the team at World Jewish Relief as well as the close working relationships we have built with our partners on the ground in Ukraine over the last 30 years. This appointment would also not have been possible without the unfailing support of Ukrainians in their time of need by the wider UK Jewish Community.”

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan added: “Ukrainian Independence Day is a time to celebrate Ukrainian culture and traditions, as well as our shared values. It is also a sombre reminder of the need to continue to support our Ukrainian friends in their fight against Putin’s barbaric invasion. We continue to stand in solidarity with Ukraine.

“These new English Language and Employment support  courses add to the package of wider government support in place to help Ukrainians find work and settle into our communities while it’s not safe to return to Ukraine.”

WJR was recognised in 2022 with a Charity Award for its Specialist Training and Employment Programme (STEP), and the award of the contract to deliver this significant programme serves as further recognition of its unique approach and impact.

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