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How employers can overcome challenges in the Ukrainian labour market

04/ 07/ 2024
  The full-scale war has significantly impacted the experience of living in Ukraine and the labor market, forcing businesses to adapt to new realities. The current and future challenges in various aspects of Ukrainians lives and work, the assessment of key socioeconomic factors by the business community, migration, the intentions of Ukrainians to return from abroad, and the efforts of employers and the state in providing social support to citizens during the war – these and other important topics were discussed during the European Business Associations discussion Employers and the Future of Human Capital in Ukraine held on July 1st. During the event, the results of the Life Quality Barometer study, conducted by the EBA in partnership with Kernel and the research company Gradus Research, were presented. Among the main findings of the survey, presented by Evgeniya Blyznyuk, sociologist, founder and CEO of Gradus Research, is the relatively high job satisfaction among the business audience (69% are satisfied with their jobs) against the backdrop of a deterioration in some other assessments and overall experience of living in Ukraine. This decline is linked to many factors, including the ongoing war, displacement, mobilization, and widespread feelings of uncertainty about the future. You can find more details about the research results at the link. Daryna Marchak, First Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, spoke about the demographic challenges facing Ukraine, noting that our country is facing three main negative demographic trends, including migration, low birth rates, and low life expectancy. Due to the war, the population in the territories controlled by Ukraine has decreased to 31 million, another 4.1 million people live in the temporarily occupied territories, and about 3.5 million are in EU countries and North America. The population decline may continue if no action is taken. Daryna Marchak. First Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine. The most effective policy to counter population decline is to create comfortable living conditions in Ukraine, namely: affordable individual housing, quality public infrastructure, an inclusive labor market, a safe environment, and social cohesion of the population. This will help to attract and retain talent, encourage childbirth, and improve overall well-being. At the same time, Ukraine has a large number of citizens who are excluded from the labor market. At least 1 million people with disabilities, about 700,000 internally displaced persons, many elderly people, and veterans returning from the war have the potential for employment. Therefore, investing in the existing human capital within the country is the most effective way to solve the problems of labor shortages here and now. To do this, businesses need to revise their recruitment and hiring policies, eliminate ageism, create barrier-free offices for people with disabilities, and introduce training and retraining programs for employees. Nataliia Teriakhina, HR Director of Kernel, emphasized the importance of employee support programs during the war, including health care, financial assistance, and support in difficult situations.  Nataliia Teriakhina. HR Director of Kernel. Kernel′s commitment to investing in Ukraine and launching new projects is an important factor in retaining employees who see the company′s stability and growth potential. The company has also launched the Open Agro University program to train young professionals to create a future talent pool, works with schools and colleges to promote agribusiness and manufacturing professions among young people, and develops internal talent in key positions to minimize the risk of losing critical personnel. Ms. Terіakhina said the company is focused on training and upskilling a wide range of people, including youth, women, and veterans, to fill vacancies and address labor shortages. Kernel advocates for the creation of an inclusive workplace, including for people with disabilities, to ensure equal opportunities and access to work. Vladyslav Greziev, founder and CEO of Lobby X, reviewed the current state of the Ukrainian labor market, particularly in the defense and non-governmental sectors. Vladyslav Greziev. Founder and CEO of Lobby X. The war has led to a significant increase in the number of companies in the arms and defense technology sector, creating a high demand for engineers, designers, and manufacturing specialists. The NGO sector has seen a huge growth in employment opportunities due to the influx of international organizations and funding. Greziev stressed the need for smart government policies to balance the human capital needs of the rear economy and the army. We are grateful to all the speakers and participants for the rich and meaningful discussion, as well as to our partners – Kernel and Gradus Research. Together we can find answers to the questions that concern businesses and overcome the challenges of wartime.

The full-scale war has significantly impacted the experience of living in Ukraine and the labor market, forcing businesses to adapt to new realities. The current and future challenges in various aspects of Ukrainians’ lives and work, the assessment of key socioeconomic factors by the business community, migration, the intentions of Ukrainians to return from abroad, and the efforts of employers and the state in providing social support to citizens during the war – these and other important topics were discussed during the European Business Association’s discussion “Employers and the Future of Human Capital in Ukraine” held on July 1st.

During the event, the results of the “Life Quality Barometer” study, conducted by the EBA in partnership with Kernel and the research company Gradus Research, were presented. Among the main findings of the survey, presented by Evgeniya Blyznyuk, sociologist, founder and CEO of Gradus Research, is the relatively high job satisfaction among the business audience (69% are satisfied with their jobs) against the backdrop of a deterioration in some other assessments and overall experience of living in Ukraine. This decline is linked to many factors, including the ongoing war, displacement, mobilization, and widespread feelings of uncertainty about the future. You can find more details about the research results at the link.

Daryna Marchak, First Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine, spoke about the demographic challenges facing Ukraine, noting that our country is facing three main negative demographic trends, including migration, low birth rates, and low life expectancy. Due to the war, the population in the territories controlled by Ukraine has decreased to 31 million, another 4.1 million people live in the temporarily occupied territories, and about 3.5 million are in EU countries and North America. The population decline may continue if no action is taken.

Daryna Marchak First Deputy Minister of Social Policy of Ukraine
The most effective policy to counter population decline is to create comfortable living conditions in Ukraine, namely: affordable individual housing, quality public infrastructure, an inclusive labor market, a safe environment, and social cohesion of the population. This will help to attract and retain talent, encourage childbirth, and improve overall well-being. At the same time, Ukraine has a large number of citizens who are excluded from the labor market. At least 1 million people with disabilities, about 700,000 internally displaced persons, many elderly people, and veterans returning from the war have the potential for employment. Therefore, investing in the existing human capital within the country is the most effective way to solve the problems of labor shortages here and now. To do this, businesses need to revise their recruitment and hiring policies, eliminate ageism, create barrier-free offices for people with disabilities, and introduce training and retraining programs for employees.

Nataliia Teriakhina, HR Director of Kernel, emphasized the importance of employee support programs during the war, including health care, financial assistance, and support in difficult situations. 

Nataliia Teriakhina HR Director of Kernel
Kernel′s commitment to investing in Ukraine and launching new projects is an important factor in retaining employees who see the company′s stability and growth potential. The company has also launched the Open Agro University program to train young professionals to create a future talent pool, works with schools and colleges to promote agribusiness and manufacturing professions among young people, and develops internal talent in key positions to minimize the risk of losing critical personnel.

Ms. Terіakhina said the company is focused on training and upskilling a wide range of people, including youth, women, and veterans, to fill vacancies and address labor shortages. Kernel advocates for the creation of an inclusive workplace, including for people with disabilities, to ensure equal opportunities and access to work.

Vladyslav Greziev, founder and CEO of Lobby X, reviewed the current state of the Ukrainian labor market, particularly in the defense and non-governmental sectors.

Vladyslav Greziev Founder and CEO of Lobby X
The war has led to a significant increase in the number of companies in the arms and defense technology sector, creating a high demand for engineers, designers, and manufacturing specialists. The NGO sector has seen a huge growth in employment opportunities due to the influx of international organizations and funding.

Greziev stressed the need for smart government policies to balance the human capital needs of the rear economy and the army.

We are grateful to all the speakers and participants for the rich and meaningful discussion, as well as to our partners – Kernel and Gradus Research. Together we can find answers to the questions that concern businesses and overcome the challenges of wartime.

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