This 42-year-old doctor fled the city of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine in March, “with her backpack and her daughter”, her sister, Olena Nikitochkina, 36, told AFP. accommodation in the capital.
She would like to stay in Germany but struggles to find a job there in her branch, “because she needs her diploma to be recognized and above all to speak the language”, notes Ms. Nikitochkina.
A thousand Ukrainian refugees presented themselves this week at the stands of companies gathered at the Berlin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK) for a job fair.
Three months after the start of the Russian offensive which led to the exodus of more than 6 million inhabitants of the country at war, it is Germany, among the countries not bordering Ukraine, which hosts the most many of them, according to the UN.
The German authorities estimate that more than 700,000 people have arrived since February 24, without it being known exactly how many are just passing through the country.
– Labor shortage –
After the urgency of the first weeks arises for these people – women account for 80% of adults in exile – the question of integration and employment.
Hotels, private clinics, construction companies… around sixty companies took part in the IHK forum. “Twice as many asked to participate,” says Yvonne Meyer, an official at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ukrainian labor attracts employers from Europe’s largest economy. In Germany, an aging country with almost full employment, there is a shortage of personnel in almost all branches, particularly in industry, commerce and health.
According to the Institute for Labor and Employment Research (IAB), there are currently 1.69 million vacancies in Germany, a new record.
“We are still looking for staff, so this is a very good opportunity for us,” admits on the forum a recruiter for the Berliner Stadtreinigungsbetriebe, the company responsible for cleaning the streets of the capital.
Some companies, like the Grill Royal restaurants or the Policum group of clinics, boast that their employees can take a German course.
But none of those that interest Yuliia Bokk offer this possibility. “It’s not enough to speak English. At each stand, I am told: Learn the basics of German and come back to see us! “, exasperated the 24-year-old woman, who had a good job in kyiv in a company sale to detail.
– The Syrian precedent –
Yuliia Bokk nevertheless considers herself lucky to be in Germany. Since June 1, Ukrainian refugees have been able to benefit from social minima up to 449 euros per month and are registered with social security.
The young woman was also able to start a free “integration course” of about six months on the German language and culture. Like her, more than 80,000 Ukrainian refugees have already been admitted to this course, according to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bamf).
“The course is in high demand, but as many refugees came to Germany in 2015 from Syria or Afghanistan, the structures were already in place”, explains Martin Eckermann, referent at Bamf.
In 2015, Germany opened its doors to hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis, so the number of asylum seekers working in Germany has increased more than six times since then, according to the employment agency.
A graduate in energy management and economics, Daria Tatarenko, 23, applied for a job as a saleswoman in a bakery, by default and “because it was not necessary to speak German”.
It is anyway a temporary solution for the young woman, who fled kyiv in March: “I am grateful to the Germans for their help, but I want to return to Ukraine when the war is over. Because it is my country “.