West Midlands has welcomed over 2,000 Ukrainian refugees since conflict began
26th February 2024
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Residents across all seven council areas in the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) area have generously offered families and individuals fleeing the war with a place to stay as part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.

A total of 2,242 Ukrainian refugees have found a host family in the West Midlands, and across the UK, more than 200,000 have arrived. The vast majority of those are women and children.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair said: “The UK has helped to lead the way when it comes to international support for Ukraine, and the people of the West Midlands have shown incredible generosity in welcoming Ukrainian refugees to our region.

“We remain as committed as ever to supporting those Ukrainians seeking sanctuary from the terrible conflict that continues in their homeland. While providing safe haven is essential, we believe true support goes beyond just housing.

“That's why we've developed initiatives like our employment-linked ESOL courses, where refugees can acquire English language skills alongside job-specific training, empowering them to contribute to our community and build independent lives.”

In 2022/23, £15.2 million was invested from the Adult Education Budget (AEB) for ESOL training courses.

The WMCA recognises the impact and importance of supporting residents who need to acquire English language skills.

 

Vitalii Lun who has also benefitted from completing an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) training course, which are funded by the WMCA.

Vitalii and his family arrived in Birmingham in 2022 in Birmingham last year and started learning English in August 2023.

He said: “The course has been really helpful. When I was back in Ukraine, I was a videographer, but when the war started, everything I had worked for had gone.

“The ESOL course has helped me to grow my business and I am now a self-employed videographer my English has improved, and it is helping me to find new clients.

“I want to say thank you for the support that is there for Ukrainian people, because in hard times you feel everyone’s support very strongly.”

 

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Ian Henery

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