Published date 23 February 2023

One year on: Metro Mayor steps up support for West of England Ukraine Rufugees

Mayor Dan Norris sitting at table

A West of England Combined Authority scheme to help the West's Ukraine refugee guests start up their own business is to be expanded, Metro Mayor Dan Norris has announced.

Mayor Norris has secured over £260,000 from government to expand the successful West of England refugee scheme, he confirmed ahead of the first anniversary of the Ukraine conflict.

118 Ukraine nationals in the region have already received expert West of England Combined Authority-led advice and support to set up their own companies - including access to top training courses, one-to-one coaching, and more.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris “I’m so incredibly proud of the way in which residents have opened their arms to our Ukrainian friends, and neighbours. This £260,000 in cash secured from government will help our region tap into the talent and entrepreneurial spirit of our Ukraine guests – a win-win! My West of England Combined Authority is determined to do our bit to make people feel welcome here and help them get on and thrive during their stay with us - however long or short”.

The West of England Combined Authority continues to support new and settled Ukrainian guests by:

  • Funding a 5-week West of England programme teaching Ukraine refugees new green skills which they can then put into action in the workplace
  • Supporting Ukrainians to gain important Level 3 and Level 4 Maths qualifications through the £3.8 million West of England Multiply programme
  • Working with local Jobcentres to raise awareness of the Combined Authority support available, generating referrals to Future Bright and other careers programmes for Ukrainian refugees
  • Holding Ukrainian focused community and business support events and workshops, including a YTKO business grants workshop on 23rd March at Runway East
  • Rolling out a new “careers toolkit” for Ukrainian schoolchildren and other youngsters where English isn’t their first language across all West of England schools
  • Supporting Ukraine refugees to become bus drivers – helping address a regional and national shortage

1,324 Ukrainians have settled in the West of England under the Ukraine sponsorship scheme with host families.

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