OIt took ksana Lozinska just three months to start a new life. A week after the start of the war in Ukraine, she fled to Germany with her daughter, her mother and her sister. She had packed little because she expected to return to Kyiv soon. But it quickly became clear that this would not be possible. So she registered with the employment agency, wrote applications and conducted job interviews. And now she is here, on the southern outskirts of Weimar, on the inconspicuous premises of the Ibu-Tec company, her new employer.
It’s a muggy day in mid-July when Lozinska tells her story. She seems strong and sorted, knows exactly what she wants: arrive, learn something new, earn money. Are there still moments when she thinks about how her family’s life was suddenly thrown upside down by the Russian attack? “I try to think more about the future and less about the past,” she says in almost perfect German.
She also acts according to this principle. The forty-four-year-old is very well educated, has a university degree as an accountant and another as an interpreter, and speaks five languages. In Kyiv she worked as a managing director for a furniture manufacturer, before that she worked in purchasing and sales. In a conversation with her and the deputy chairman of the board, Jörg Leinenbach, it quickly becomes apparent that not only did she apply to the industrial service provider, but they also applied to her. Lozinska had two other job offers, but decided on Ibu-Tec, even though she now travels an hour and a half every morning and evening by bus and train. 137 years of company history have convinced you. Because 137 years of company history mean security.
The fact that Oksana Lozinska found work so quickly is a stroke of luck for both sides: for herself and for the company. And it’s the exception rather than the rule. So far, 267,000 working-age Ukrainian refugees have registered with the job centers and employment agencies, most of them women. According to a rough estimate by the Federal Employment Agency, around 12,000 Ukrainian women could have found a job in this country since the beginning of the war – not many.
But that’s no wonder, said its CEO Detlef Scheele recently at the monthly press conference. After all, very few of them speak German, and there aren’t enough daycare places for their children. Some also live in a hotel or refugee accommodation. Even if many Ukrainian women want to work straight away, it is often not so easy to do so.
The job centers are therefore now primarily concerned with the essentials: paying out the basic security to which the Ukrainian refugees have been entitled since the beginning of June. An initial inventory of the qualifications and work experience people bring with them. And the big question of whether they want to stay in Germany in the long term or return to their home country.