Ukrainian women who came to Sheffield to escape the war are being helped into hospitality jobs by The Source.

The women are staying with local families under the Homes for Ukraine government scheme.

They hope to find work in South Yorkshire’s hospitality and visitor sector, which is struggling to find workers, and have boosted their chances by signing up to a new skills ’bootcamp’ for the unemployed.

The Source is running the four-week Hospitality Sector Routeways ‘bootcamp’ with Opportunity Sheffield, the City Council’s employment and skills service.

For the last year, Sector Routeways courses, which are part-funded by the European Social Fund, have been preparing people for work in Sheffield’s construction, social care, engineering and digital sectors, which are all experiencing labour shortages.

Opportunity Sheffield commissioned The Source to create a new programme to help jobless people prepare for hospitality jobs.

Alla Shkvarun, 32, an events management, marketing and communications specialist; HR manager Anastasiia Kaprenko, 36; travel agent and mother of two Kateryna Pryhoda, 34 and Liliia Sholohon, 22, a qualified teacher, were among seven people on the very first course this autumn.

They enjoyed two weeks of learning – from barista-training at Sheffield coffee specialist Cafeology to food hygiene, kitchen safety and cookery training with local chef Paul Deehan, who has cooked aboard super-yachts for royalty, presidents and celebrities including Christiano Ronaldo, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss.

They also got workforce preparation training and help with CVs and interviews at The Source on Meadowhall Way before heading to two-week work placements at local hotels, pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Gareth Urwin, The Source’s head of partnerships and external funding, said: “Local hospitality and visitor economy employers need new staff to hit the ground running, but joining a fast-paced workplace can be very difficult after a long period of unemployment.

“Our ‘bootcamp’ prepares jobseekers, giving employers a wider pool of people to recruit from

“We were very pleased our first course included four women from Ukraine. They all had valuable transferable skills and a great worth ethic. In addition to learning more about hospitality work, they formed friendships. They shared experiences of the war and their concerns for relatives in Ukraine.”

Alla Shkvarun said: “The war ended my career and life plans. I came to the UK in July.and am so thankful to my host family. “I took the hospitality course because I want to work in the events sector, perhaps as an events manager at a hotel, and use my skills to gain independence and earn enough to go back to see my family in Kyiv.

“The bootcamp gave more confidence in my English, improved my team skills, soft skills and interview technique – and I really enjoyed my two-week work placement at the Premier Inn Arena.”

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