More than 500 people from Ukraine have moved into longer-term accommodation after being supported through the Welsh Government’s super sponsor scheme.
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt today said it shows Wales is truly a Nation of Sanctuary.
The latest figures show almost 3,000 people fleeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, who have been directly sponsored by the Welsh Government, have arrived in Wales.
“I’m proud we have been able to welcome so many people here and humbled so many people are living independently in Wales,” the Minister said.
“I also want to thank everyone who has opened their home to provide sanctuary and safety to someone from Ukraine.”
People arriving in Wales via the Welsh Government’s super sponsor route have stayed in welcome centres and in initial accommodation, including hotels, universities and holiday parks, across the country.
Wrap-around support has been available in the initial accommodation to help people find work and enrol children in schools as they settle into life in Wales. Many Ukrainians are now moving on from this initial accommodation into homes of their own.
This is part of the Welsh Government’s strategy to help people settle into more permanent accommodation. Policies are in place to support local authorities to help people put down roots in Wales.
Many Ukrainian arrivals are finding work in their chosen sectors – they have the skills and expertise Welsh businesses need.
Iryna arrived in Wales and spent time in a welcome centre earlier this year. After she was seen meeting the First Minister in media coverage, she was approached by a Swansea-based company looking for someone with her particular skillset.
Power and Water, a wastewater treatment company, had struggled to find the right candidate with the necessary experience and, after meeting her, she now works as a graduate process engineer.
Harry Cowan, CEO of Power and Water, said:
“Iryna holds a biology and chemical engineering degree and a Masters in Electro Coagulation Processing – she was exactly the candidate we had been looking to employ. Her knowledge and attitude is remarkable and we have no doubt she will make a major contribution to our business.
“This really is a win-win situation for all of us. We have an exceptional candidate who will positively contribute to our product development and business and we also feel a sense of pride as a business that we are able to contribute in a small way to normalising Iryna's life a little – and, more importantly, ensure her life does not stop during these uncertain times for her.”
Iryna, who has now found her own place to live and settled into her new job, said:
“I would like to say a massive thank you for the welcome I have had to Wales and for being given the opportunity to build a new life here.
“If I hadn’t been given support when I first arrived here it doesn’t bear thinking about.
“I was delighted when Power and Water approached me and am grateful for them for showing faith in me.”
Minister for Social Justice Jane Hutt added:
“We continue to show our support for people from Ukraine and are committed to being a Nation of Sanctuary.
“More than 500 people have now moved on from initial accommodation into a place of their own.
“We are continuing to work with local authorities and the third sector to support move on. This includes bringing forward more longer-term accommodation for everyone in housing need through our £60m Transitional Accommodation Capital Programme.”