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Ukrainian newcomers in Fort McMurray settling, extra assist wanted: Ukrainian Canadian Congress chief

Ukrainian and neighborhood leaders need employment and academic alternatives to enhance for Ukrainian newcomers in Fort McMurray.

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The president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress’ department in Alberta says Ukrainians are settling properly in Fort McMurray. Nonetheless, she hopes to see their alternatives for employment and training enhance each in the neighborhood and throughout Alberta.

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Orysia Boychuk, president of the department, visited Fort McMurray final Thursday and Friday to satisfy with employers, financial and political leaders, neighborhood teams and members of Fort McMurray’s Ukrainian neighborhood. Boychuk inspired neighborhood leaders to make it simpler for newcomers to seek out academic coaching and new employment.

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“There appears to be fairly a little bit of curiosity to doubtlessly improve newcomers to come back to Fort McMurray with the assistance and help of a pathway to make sure they’re profitable,” stated Boychuk.

Boychuk and Lee-Anne Kumka of the Fort McMurray Ukrainian Cultural Society stated employers and unions within the trades are desperate to welcome Ukrainians in apprenticeship applications, particularly as many trades face critical labour shortages.

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Kumka praised Keyano School for decreasing tuition to home charges for Ukrainian evacuees. The faculty says 9 Ukrainian college students enrolled at Keyano throughout the 2022-23 tutorial yr. Kumka hopes that quantity will rise underneath the discounted charge.

“We’re reaching out and dealing extra with these organizations, discovering out what skillets they’re on the lookout for, and matching these calls for with individuals who have arrived right here or in Calgary or Edmonton,” stated Kumka.

“We’ve plenty of very educated {and professional} individuals who have been instructors, college professors, medical doctors, legal professionals, and they’re working front-end counter work at retail jobs,” stated Boychuk. “They’re working survival jobs and on the lookout for methods to develop themselves, get their credentials and certifications acknowledged, and combine at a extra skilled degree.”

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Greater than 250 Ukrainians have arrived in Fort McMurray since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. They’re a sliver of the 41,000 Ukrainians which have settled in Alberta because the begin of the battle. Most Ukrainians who got here to Canada and are in Calgary, adopted by Edmonton and Crimson Deer. Boychuk stated political leaders have stated there’s room to welcome much more Ukrainians in Fort McMurray.

Studying English has additionally been a battle for some Ukrainian newcomers, stated Boychuk. This has restricted alternatives for training and employment. Language limitations additionally make it tough for them to seek out help for his or her emotional and psychological well being. There are additionally few specialists in Alberta conversant in Ukrainian language and tradition, which makes one-on-one periods uncommon.

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However Boychuk feels Ukrainian newcomers in Fort McMurray are thriving. They don’t seem to be going through the skyrocketing rents seen in different Canadian cities. Many evacuees are volunteering in the neighborhood, socializing and organizing occasions. Kids are attending college. Most adults are employed. An current, pre-invasion Ukrainian neighborhood has been vital in serving to newcomers settle.

Kumka stated many are pursuing everlasting residency. There are additionally plans to open a Ukrainian heritage college. The varsity would meet on Saturdays so kids may follow their language and study Ukrainian tradition.

“A board has been fashioned and the subsequent step is to discover a area,” stated Boychuk. “The Ukrainian neighborhood has finished a number of work right here.”

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