CENTRAL Devon MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Mel Stride has heard how additional local support is needed to help Ukrainian refugees find work. 

Silverton resident Tanya Larsen, who was one of the founding directors of Devon for Ukraine and has since worked on projects for Mid Devon District Council to support refugees, held a meeting with Mr Stride on Friday, September 22 in Crediton.

Tanya was joined by Eugene Soloviov, a Ukrainian refugee who Tanya helped to bring to Mid Devon shortly after the Russian invasion.

The pair have since collaborated on creating sustainable finance products – an example of how refugees can utilise their professional backgrounds to contribute to the UK economy if given the right support.

Tanya said: “Mel has done brilliant work locally in helping refugees to escape the war in Ukraine and find a safe home here in Devon. As the war continues we now need to look at what more can be done locally to connect refugees with job vacancies.

"The vast majority of Ukrainians who have come to the UK are well educated and feel strongly about supporting themselves financially and contributing to the local economy.”

Mel added: “By visiting: www.gov.uk/offer-work-ukraine , employers can upload details of jobs that may be suitable for people arriving from Ukraine.

"A member of staff at DWP will then contact the business within five working days about the work available and will potentially share that with Jobcentre Plus and the Refugee Employment Network.

"If more local businesses could do this then we can increase the chances of connecting refugees with the many job vacancies we have here in Central Devon.”