A LIMERICK employment agency provides a vital link between local Ukrainian refugees and employers, as hundreds of newcomers seek to support their families.
Unijobs Limerick, an affiliate of the University of Limerick, organized a job fair for over 70 members of the Ukrainian community seeking employment.
The original intention of Unijobs was to give one person an opportunity, chief operating officer Damien Bowe told the Limerick leader. This led Daria Luzina (pictured below), from Kyiv, to take on a key role.
“Daria, who has a background in commercial law, is now the main point of contact for helping other Ukrainians find jobs. What started as giving one person a boost, led to hundreds,” he explained.
Since the job fair at the Limerick City Hotel, several clinics have been held to help Ukrainians write their CVs as well as profile their last job, qualifications, English level and employment prospects.
A database of 140 names and contact details has been compiled by Unijobs and is shared with other recruitment agencies which under normal circumstances would be a competitor in the market.
Mr Bowe pointed to several successes, as two Ukrainian chefs and several nurses living in Limerick have already found jobs through Unijobs.
“We already have huge interest from pubs, restaurants and other employers,” he said.
Despite the Trojan work done by Daria, Mr Bowe feels the effort is somewhat “disjointed” and hopes some political and business leaders will pick up the slack.
His hope is that there can be a “structured regional response” and a committee developed in Limerick.
This would integrate language courses and a pathway to employment, replicating what is being conducted by Unijobs in a single ‘uniform approach’.
Unijobs is looking forward to its next job fair for the Ukrainian community and expects hundreds of people to show up as they look for jobs in the county and city.
“One of the fears is that some of these people will not fall into precarious and poorly paid jobs. Our intention is not to escalate the situation,” he said.
Once the central database is fully developed, Unijobs intends to meet competitors and hire job seekers, sector by sector.
“Right now a lot of them are overwhelmed with everything that’s going on and the processing of their documents.
“We are strategically placed to help people. It is important that they get in touch with us and Daria, who is the main point of contact on the ground,” concluded Mr. Bowe.