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Ukrainian refugee starts job as apprentice butcher

2023-06-08 02:41:18 [Press center4] source:Al Jazeera

A Ukrainian man who left his home after the Russian invasion has been given the opportunity of working as an apprentice butcher.

Volodmyr Belei followed his wife and children to Rothbury, Northumberland, where they live with a sponsor.

The 35-year-old is among more than 160,000 Ukrainians living in the UK as part of the government scheme.

He applied for a job at a family-run butchers in a neighbouring village and impressed his boss with his attitude.

Chris Green, who owns R. Green & Son Butchers in Longframlington, said Volodmyr, or Vova as he is also known, was put forward for the post by his sponsors who saw a job advert.

"He came across really well because I thought communication might be a bit of an issue but it's not really as his spoken and written English are good," he said.

"You can tell he's a nice lad and has been through a rough time and deserved a break, he's been here four weeks now and is improving all the time," Mr Green, a fourth generation butcher, added.

People arriving in the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme, or the Ukraine Sponsorship Scheme (Homes for Ukraine) are allowed to stay for three years. While here they are allowed to work, access benefits and public services.

Vova told BBC Radio Newcastle he was grateful for his life in Northumberland after leaving Ukraine.

"It was horrible, the bombs falling down, and we were living underground for 40 days or so, it might be more. It was really scary and we didn't know whether we would wake up or not in the morning," he said.

"My family arrived before me, maybe two or three months and then my host had another room free for me, here it is a very quiet and beautiful place with nice, friendly, smiling people."

For Vova, working in a butchers' shop is a new experience, as previously his jobs have included building work and spray-painting cars.

Ideally Vova said he would like to stay in the UK "if it's possible".

He said he was not "afraid of hard work" to support his wife and children, 18-year-old Sergiy and Anna who is nine.

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(editor-in-charge:Press center4)

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