Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Language and employment courses for Ukrainians [August 2023]

The press release issued by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 24 August 2023.

Free English language and employment courses announced as Ukrainians celebrate their Independence Day.

  • Up to 10,000 Ukrainians will receive support to learn English and advance their careers
  • £11.5 million of Government support is being provided to support Ukrainians arrivals to rebuild their lives
  • On Ukrainian Independence Day, UK Government reaffirms ongoing support for the people of Ukraine

Free English lessons and help to improve their job prospects are on offer to up to 10,000 Ukrainians to help them rebuild their lives in the UK, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced.

The £11.5m support package – announced on Ukrainian Independence Day (August 24) – will help more Ukrainian arrivals across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland integrate further into their communities whilst in the UK and help them progress their careers here.

The intensive language programme will include nearly 20 hours of online English learning a week over a period of 10 weeks, while additional employment support over 12 weeks will include advice on how to find jobs, CV writing and application support, as well as one-to-one interview practice.

Half of Ukrainian adults have already found employment since arriving and this support aims to increase the number of people in work and help those in employment to enter higher-skilled and better paid jobs, in turn helping to grow the workforce and the UK economy. When the time comes to return to Ukraine, the language skills, experience of working in the UK and workplace training will also assist with rebuilding their home country.

This is part of a wider package of support including £150m funding for local authorities to house Ukrainians in long-term accommodation, and increased ‘thank you’ payments of over £650m for Homes for Ukraine British hosts.

Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Felicity Buchan said:

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.

Charity World Jewish Relief in partnership with the British Council, has been chosen to run the ‘STEP Ukraine’ courses and tailored employment support sessions. They are aiming to train up to 10,000 Ukrainians within a year – making it easier for them to live independent lives in the UK.

Following feedback from Ukrainian guests, the courses are online so that people with young children, caring responsibilities, or shift workers, can take part from anywhere in the UK.

Paul Anticoni, CEO of World Jewish Relief, said:

We are proud of the difference that World Jewish Relief has made, and will continue to make, in providing essential support for those forced to flee by war.

This much-needed programme will enable us to offer transformative language and employment support in partnership with the British Council to thousands more Ukrainians seeking to rebuild their lives in the UK.

The new English and employment courses come as the Government reaffirms its commitment to helping Ukrainians settle and rebuild their lives in the UK on Ukrainian Independence Day.

In honour of their Independence Day, the Ukrainian community has organised festivities in cities across the UK. Groups such as the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain held traditional music concerts, prepared traditional meals, and arranged family events to celebrate their heritage and culture. This is a time to celebrate our shared values and show our enduring support for the people of Ukraine.

Petro Rewko, Chair of the Association of Ukrainians in Great Britain (AUGB), said:

On 24th of August, we will celebrate the Independence Day of Ukraine. Although Russian aggression and the invasion of Ukraine continues, we will still celebrate Ukraine’s independence to mark the occasion.

We once again wish to thank the UK and, most of all, the UK public for their kind generosity in opening their doors as sponsors, and for the humanitarian aid, the millions they have given to help Ukraine.