I moved to the UK more than a year ago because the war in Ukraine happened. The war started when I was 18, and I moved here when I was 19. I moved here because it’s a safe place and I know English, so I knew it would be easier for me to communicate here.
My volunteering position in Ukraine was finished, and I wanted to move on and get professional experience here. I tried by myself to get a job here, based on my qualifications and my degree. However, I found that the job market in the UK is quite different from what we have in Ukraine.
I didn’t have much of an idea about making CVs, cover letters, and even professional communication. I also needed to understand in more detail what qualifications I needed in the current market to get a job. I was struggling, and then my work coach told me about Base Camp.
Base Camp is a programme specifically for young adults aged 18-24 who are not currently in education, employment, or training. It’s designed to help individuals develop personally and gain the skills they need to find work, education, or training opportunities. The programme sounded ideal for me.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend all the sessions in person in Gravesend, but instead I had personal meetings with my mentor, Jon, who really helped me move forwards. I have online meetings with him every week or two – it depends on my needs. Sometimes I need more time to work on a task or what we’ve been talking about. But if we don’t have any meetings, I can always email Jon or send a text message about what’s happening, so communication is perfect.
Base Camp gave me the opportunity to get to know all the details of the local job market, and the kind of documents I need to prepare for it. It helped me align my Ukrainian experience to the experience I need to have in the UK to get the job I want. I know that my English is quite good, and I’ve already helped my local council and Kent County Council with some interpreting between Ukrainians and support workers. I came to realise that this really valuable skill can benefit me as well. So, I enrolled on a community interpretation course and I’m now on my Level 2. In December, I will get the Level 2 qualification and at that point I can start working for some charities or private agencies.
Base Camp and Jon also really helped me with getting an Event Management course, as I want to continue my career in event management. Jon helped me enrol on my Level 3 course and I am currently in the process of passing it. I think by the end of December I will finish it and get that qualification. My plan for now is to finish all my courses, and I’ve already applied for some jobs. I was at some job fairs in London, and I’ve been applying online. I’m using a CV and cover letter which I worked on with Jon’s help. By the end of December, I will hopefully get a job!
Base Camp is a dedicated employability programme designed to empower young people aged 18-24 who are currently not engaged in education, employment, or training. The programme’s aim is to provide comprehensive support and equip participants with the skills they need to navigate their journey towards securing work, education, or training opportunities. Find out more at www.cxk.org/services/base-camp/.