In Germany, where more than 300,000 jobs remain unfilled, a group of entrepreneurs has set up JobAidUkraine to help refugees find work by train, bus and plane. On a recent day, nearly 30,000 online visitors scrolled through more than 5,000 job listings listed by companies from London to Lisbon, for McDonald’s shifts, personnel specialists, software developers and nurses.
“We are amazed that companies large and small are advertising in every industry, from programmers to farmers to bars,” said Christina Kaesshoefer, co-founder of the website. “People want to do anything to help.”
Despite the good will, there are challenges.
Ukraine is known for its skilled workforce, with 70 percent of workers having secondary or higher education degrees. The country has the largest technology engineering power in Central and Eastern Europe, leading Microsoft, Cisco, Google and other multinational companies to outsource their work there.
But the war has destroyed an entire society. Programmers, lawyers and truck drivers are among the tens of thousands of Ukrainian men between the ages of 18 and 60 who are taking up arms to defend their country. Most of the refugees who come out are women and children who are forced to leave their husbands, fathers and brothers.
They need housing, day care and school places before they can get to work. Many women are eager to quickly return home to Ukraine, once the war is over.
Lisa Slavachevskaya, 38, a farm manager in Odessa, recently fled to Romania with her son and daughter. She said she planned to go back in a month, but in the meantime would like to find a temporary job to earn money.