Over 65 Ukrainians who have settled in East Lothian in the past year have been supported to learn English by the council’s employability service East Lothian Works.
All of the learners had to leave Ukraine due to the war and moved to the county seeking safety, community and employment.
Key to settling within the area is the ability to speak and understand English. Since Spring 2022 East Lothian Works has increased its English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programme to make sure there was sufficient provision for Ukrainians at all levels, from beginner to advanced.
Karina, who has been taking part in the classes, said: “I'm very grateful to East Lothian Council for the organisation of English classes for Ukrainian people. My ESOL class helps not only to improve my English language level, which is vital for daily life, but also to facilitate communication with classmates, colleagues, NHS employees, school teachers, local authorities and the lovely Scottish people”
East Lothian Works has now recruited a designated Employability Intervention Officer who will support the group with job search techniques, interview skills, job applications and accessibility to training courses.
Andy Stuckey, an Employability Development Officer (ESOL) at East Lothian Works said: “We’re proud to be supporting Ukrainian learners in this important area. All of our learners have a strong desire to integrate into and contribute to the local community and economy and many have already progressed on to full-time study, employment or voluntary work.”