Who wants to find a job – he finds it

Almost seventy thousand internally displaced persons from Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts and the Crimea... So many resettlers are registered now in Zaporizhzhia region. The overwhelming majority are women with children, elderly people, and people with disabilities. But not less than a quarter – those who by official language are called "able-bodied population."  And if they are able to work – hence, they should work, is not it? However, finding a job to satisfy the wallet and the soul is a difficult task even for local residents. What to say about those who arrived not so long ago and, by definition, temporarily?

For one vacancy – 20 candidates ... Resettlers are out of line

We asked Olga Tarakanova, Head of the Department of Organizational Information Work and Archival Affairs of Zaporizka Oblast Employment Center, to outline the situation on the labor market of Zaporizhzhia region, and the niche occupied by the resettlers.

"Those who are interested in finding a job should apply, without delay, to the employment service. In 2016 more than 1700 internally displaced persons applied to us for assistance. 412 of them were employed by the end of the year. Moreover, fifteen vacancies in Zaporizhzhia, Melitopol, Vil'niansky, Kuibyshev districts were provided immediately with housing.

Five resettlers opened their own business last year. Five employers who recruited internally displaced persons received compensation for a unified social tax. Employment centers provided professional guidance to 1546 resettlers. 108 of them received professional training under specific applications of employers, and 176 participated in public and other works.

This year, 125 internally displaced persons of total 667, who were registered with the employment centers, have already got job, 55 of them have been trained in professional training, 44 – have been engaged in public works...

Given the situation on the labor market of Zaporizka oblast, these are good indicators. After all, although 10 thousand 200 residents of the region found employment in four months since the beginning of the year, there remained in the register 20 thousand 700 persons on May 1, while there were only 1028 vacancies in the data base of the State Employment Service of Zaporizka oblast. The greatest demand is for qualified locksmiths, electric and gas welders, drivers, cooks, waiters, salesmen, junior nurses, tractor drivers and representatives of other working professions. Accountants with experience and managers are needed.

By the way, not long ago, an inter-district trade fair was held in Yakymivka, where seasonal jobs in agriculture and recreation sphere were widely offered.

From the first of May this year, the minimum unemployment benefit for insured persons is 1280 UAH per month, and the maximum – 6736 UAH. For uninsured persons (those who do not have sufficient labour experience) – 544 UAH. Please note: internally displaced persons in our oblast receive an average of 1869 UAH of unemployment benefits per month.

We provide a "green street" for the resettlers, and yet there are problems with their employment. First, because of increased demands on work. The resettlers are not satisfied with wages, less than 3200 UAH. They require a flexible work schedule and a complete social package.

The second reason is that among internally displaced persons there are a lot of those who occupied management positions of precedence (chief treasurer, commercial director, deputy director of department, shop manager) or have rare specialties (architect, mining master, functional diagnostic physician, teacher-organizer, teacher of higher education, tutor of broadcasting, translator).

Thirdly, employers prefer local people. It is not known what to expect from resettlers. Some internally displaced persons, who receive employment assistance from the state, are not in a hurry to seek employment: they say they are hoping for a quick return home. There were precedents when resettlers traveled without warning in an unknown direction (not having withdrawn from the registration and without a word with employer).

The fourth reason for the difficulties is the decline in production in Zaporizka oblast over a period of recent years. Consequently – the number of available vacancies decreases. This problem is relevant not only for the resettlers, but also for many locals.

In the end, in rural areas, even in the presence of vacant posts, it is difficult to get to work and return from work due to the small number of public transport routes and the large intervals between its departures."

And really successful stories are not enough...

As they say, "the dream comes true." Just when the editorial office of "Zaporizka Pravda" addressed the issue of employment of internally displaced persons, the Regional Initiatives Agency organized a round table entitled "The Life of Resettlers in Zaporizhzhia: How to Achieve Success?"

Oleksandr Pavlov – "Brain-leader" of the Agency for Regional Initiatives

Oleksandr Pavlov, the Chairman of the expert council of the Agency, addressed the issues that could not be out of interest: what became Zaporizhzhia for resettlers – a temporary place of residence or a new home? Are adaptation programs effective for internally displaced persons? How do resettlers develop their own business and what are their experiences important for the locals?

On the one hand, official persons were the participants of the discussion: Iryna Ozerna, Deputy Head of the Department for Social Protection of the Population of Zaporizhzhia City Council; Maryna Hladkova, deputy head of the Department for interaction with employers of Zaporizhzhia city employment center; Anastasiia Perepelytsia, advisor of the Ministry of Social Policy on IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) in our oblast. On the other hand, there were representatives of non-governmental organizations: Nadiia Kuzmychova – Head of the project "IDP: status vs. success" of the social agency "SMART", Serhii Shchehol – lawyer of the Zaporizhzhia branch of the All-Ukrainian Charitable Foundation "The Right to Protection," and others.

Unfortunately, there sounded too little really successful stories. Maryna Hladkova told about her husband, who last year enrolled with the center of employment. He worked as an installer and guard. But he received 23 thousand hryvnias for starting his own business – and successfully cultivates agricultural crops. It would seem that people have to grab both ways to create their own business. Moreover, international organizations are no longer willing to "feed" the resettlers, but want to help them in development – in particular, their business. Indeed, the statistics brought by Maryna Hladkova are not very comforting: in 2015, ten internally displaced persons started their business in Zaporizhzhia, while in 2016 – only three persons...

Maryna Hladkova

Marina Gladkova, deputy head of the Department for interaction with employers of Zaporizhzhia city employment center: "The resettlers do not fully use the opportunities for developing their own business"

"Our region needs workers' hands" – a terrific figure was announced at the round table: in Zaporizhzhia region, the able-bodied people constitute only 24 percent of the population! And yet there are not enough jobs. Resettlers are of priority – they create a competition that does not bring joy to local residents. And moreover, it does not satisfy other privileged persons – participants of the antiterrorist operation (ATO). This problem is still in the embryo, but it should be considered now, – the participants of the roundtable concluded.

Descend from heaven to earth...

A staff member of the Southern Regional Employment Center arrives weekly for a day to the resettlers’ modular town located at the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia (this Center serves Oleksandrivskyi and Komunarskyi districts of Zaporizhzhia). The specialist communicates with those who want to find a job, brings newspapers with ads and a recent list of vacancies (and then transfers it to the manager of the small town – so, the people can look at it at any time).

Olena Drozd

The Center employee Olena Drozd answered "Zaporizka Pravda" question and outlined the situation:

"50 resettlers were registered with our district employment center since the beginning of 2017. At the moment, eight resettlers are still on file. Ten internally displaced persons got a job. Also ten persons passed training courses under our training assignment, and three are studying just now."

"Is it difficult to find work just for resettlers?"

"Not easy. Recently, a client told me that at one place he was answered: allegedly, they got a prescription to hire only locals..."

"But this is nonsense and lies?"

"Absolutely. On the contrary – there is a law according to which for half the time, when the employer hires a resettler, his salary can be compensated to the employer, as well as the uniform social tax. It is profitable to employ resettlers! "

"Who is needed, according to your observations, in Zaporizhzhia labor market?"

"Those are skilled workers. Electrician, welders – just come on! But such professionals are few".

"Apparently, not all resettlers want to "descend from heaven to earth"? Do you often have to deal with "whims"?

"Now there are not enough new resettlers, who arrived directly from Donechchyna, Luganshchyna, from the ATO zone. And, indeed, when they just massively arrived from there, some people showed dissatisfaction: they say, you do not have here the salaries that were in our house. It is hard to find a job for persons with higher education. Often, we offer resettlers to retrain or do business. The Employment Center provides one-time assistance for starting an entrepreneurial activity. Charitable organizations also allocate grants for people to start up their own business. Take a look: I have a whole folder of such suggestions. Just get up to work, create your own business!"

"Are there any successful examples?"

"Of course. For example, the settlers opened Chebureks-house in the area of Big Bazaar (market), and now things got rolling – now they are hiring only insiders. That is because the state compensates them half the wages of these people."

"It seems that resettlers generally have more opportunities than other unemployed people?"

"Yes. By law they are in the top priority. For example, from the age of 45 and up to the retirement age, every able-bodied person can receive a voucher for raising the educational level in the specialties presented on the list of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. For example, you were a bachelor – then became a specialist or a master. The size of the voucher is up to ten minimum wages, i.e. at present – up to 32 thousand hryvnias. You can pay this money for studying. But, I repeat, only those who are over 45 can reckon upon the voucher. However this restriction does not apply for the resettlers. The vouchers are provided to internally displaced persons of any age."

"So many privileges, opportunities – and still not all work?"

"In fact, among the able-bodied resettlers there are almost no people who are not working anywhere. It's no secret that many of them are hired unofficially."

"And somebody really not do a stroke of work?"

"We have a record of a boy who has not been able to find a job for a long time. I tell him: let's teach you – under the order of the employer, already a workplace for you is prepared. And he say, "But I do not know... But I need to consult my parents..." And no way! Such kind of infantilism..."

"Looks like he just does not want to work?"

"Similar people are usually called "social handicapped". They receive unemployment benefits, help for children. And charity funds are throwing them something. Children get free trips to rest... In principle, it's not so bad. And you may not work."

"But are there people who want to work?"

"Yes. The other day a resettler-pensioner spoke to me: she intends to find a temporary job somewhere in the recreation center for summer. She is a maid, her husband is a janitor. Similar seasonal vacancies are available. I told the woman phone numbers. We cannot register retirees as our clients, that is, as unemployed. But pensioners and people with disabilities can take advantage of our information. It is for everyone. If people even want to work on retirement – we are happy to help them. It all depends on the person's readiness to work on the job that is being offered."

Happy chance for Inna Tretiakova

She came to Zaporizhzhia from Zhelanne village, Donetsk oblast. There are thirty kilometers to the notorious Avdieievka. Maybe someone will seem that there is not so bad, but when you hear explosions every day at your own ears, you feel – it is close at hand.

"Very scary! Especially younger son was afraid", Inna Tretiakova sighs.

She with her husband and two children left Zhelanne village for the first time in autumn 2014. Inna was still on leave to care for the child, so the question of employment before her did not rise. But after they stood in a strange city in strange apartments – they were drawn to their home. After all, in Zhelanne village there were their relatives, own house, household. Father was 65 years old. He does not want to be removed from the plots: he would still be here, where he was built all his life, was gaining property, rooted in the land of Donetsk...

"We thought: so as people are living somehow, and we will live too. We returned to Zhelanne village. But for half a year we realized that it was almost impossible to survive there", Inna Oleksandrivna explains. "The second time we arrived to Zaporizhzhia in August 2016. Question number one arises immediately – a job. We found accommodation by Internet while we were in Zhelanne village. Children without problems arranged at kindergarten and school. And where to find a work? I turned to the city employment center."

Inna Tretiakova from Zhelanne village (Donetsk oblast) has found a good job and gradually is settling down in Zaporizhzhia

Inna Tretiakova is a graduate of Accounting and Finance Faculty of Donetsk National University. At home she worked not just in Zhelanne village, but in the district center as a public employee. It is not easy to find work for such specialists in Zaporizhzhia. That's why the specialists of the employment center at first did not find anything suitable for her. They proposed to go for so-called "public works" – to assist in the accounting department of labor and social protection of the population of Zaporizhzhia City Council in Zavodsky district. She agreed. And it turned out to be her happy chance!

The new collective appreciated the clever specialist, pleasant sociable woman. When vacancy vacated, she was invited to work permanently. Now Inna Oleksandrivna is the chief specialist-accountant of labor and social security management, and her salary is higher than she had at home. The family is renting a home at Pavlo Kichkas. Thirteen-year-old Mykyta goes to school. Six-year Savelii is in a kindergarten. Children do not shake at night from explosions...

"I really like the team in which I work. Such wonderful, sensitive people!"- Inna Oleksandrivna shares with us.

Was she lucky? Yes. But only because she did not sit with her hands, but agreed to the so-called "public works" and managed to manifest her.

"Now my brother and sister-in-law also moved to Zaporizhzhia. I hear from other resettlers: they are well placed here, and the center of employment is really very helpful", Inna Tretiakova sums up.


Danilov Andrew


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This article has been prepared in a framework of the Regional Voices project, supported by the European Union.


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