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Helping refugees from Ukraine join the labour market in Karlovy Vary Region

More than 200 refugees from Ukraine are now able to improve their employment situation after participation in the new programme of the Regional Chamber of Commerce of the Karlovy Vary Region (KHK KK). The successful completion of the project pilot part demonstrates that the number of beneficiaries will be much more significant.

The IOM-supported project called `Increasing the Qualification of Ukrainian Refugees in the Karlovy Vary Region` is intended to help people from Ukraine find jobs or move up to higher positions and improve their chances of successful integration into a new environment. "The programme offers 16 Czech language courses, computer courses focused on MS Office for both beginners and intermediate students, soft skills courses on teamwork, consultation days where we introduce refugees to the specifics of the Czech labour market, help them prepare a CV and send it to employers in our region," explained Lenka Mansfeldová, the director of KHK KK. “The project also supports the economic development of the region, still facing a shortage of skilled workers, which the Ukrainian refugees are helping to address,“ she added.

In addition to the language courses provided to the public by a primary school in Františkovy Lázně, the project includes language and upskilling courses for the employees of the companies operating in the Karlovy Vary region. Seven companies have expressed interest, including Čistonoš, SKF Lubrication Systems, Savoy Westend, Hospital Sokolov, Lázně Mariánské Lázně, Moser and DHL.

Upon completing the project pilot part, the reactions of the companies' representatives are already more than positive. "Ukrainian refugee employees are an important part of our work teams. Thanks to their development and intensive training, we are doing very well with their initial integration and further career progression. We have already had positive feedback directly from the supervisors who have praised the great strides made, especially in terms of facilitating communication and much better collaboration within the team. We know from the course participants that it will also make it much easier for them to function in their everyday lives," confirmed Veronika Markupova, Training and Development Specialist at DHL Supply Chain. She hopes the project will help stabilize the turnover among the employees who joined the company just in the wake of the war conflict and notes that the time and money invested in training and development is the best possible investment for any company.

City officials mark the importance of the project. "I believe that the refugees from Ukraine will be helped by their new skills to find employment, which will lead to their better integration into Czech society. Mariánské Lázně has the highest number of refugees from Ukraine per capita. According to official sources, there should be approximately 2,400 people. Unfortunately, we don't have exact numbers because those who move away don't have to report anywhere. For a smaller town like Mariánské Lázně, this is a complicated situation, so we welcome all help," said Martin Hurajčík, the mayor of Mariánské Lázně.

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For more information please contact fstowasser@iom.int

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