Ukrainian Evacuee in Brighton Makes History as First Person Employed as a Bus Driver via Recruitment Scheme

Ukrainian Evacuee in Brighton Makes History as First Person Employed as a Bus Driver via Recruitment Scheme

Volodymyr Syrotiuk, a Ukrainian evacuee settled in Brighton, UK, has broken new ground by becoming the first person to secure employment as a bus driver through a recruitment scheme.

Aged 61, Syrotiuk worked in warehousing and heavy goods vehicle driving near Kyiv before the Russian invasion in February 2022 prompted his evacuation.

Having now found his footing in Brighton, he has joined the team at Brighton and Hove Buses as a driver.

A Path to Integration and Stability

The parent company of Brighton and Hove Buses, Go-Ahead, initiated efforts in November of the previous year to hire Ukrainian individuals, an endeavor backed by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The UK government took measures to streamline the process for Ukrainians to exchange their driving licenses for British counterparts, facilitating their integration into the workforce.

Syrotiuk expressed gratitude for his new position, highlighting how it has eased his transition into his new home.

He also urged his compatriots to consider similar opportunities.

The role of a bus driver appeals to him as it grants him responsibility for the well-being of passengers during each journey.

Addressing a Bus Driver Shortage

The UK has grappled with a shortage of bus drivers since the conclusion of coronavirus lockdowns.

According to estimates by the Confederation of Passenger Transport, approximately 7% of bus driver positions remain vacant.

Volodymyr Syrotiuk’s employment thus not only offers him personal stability but also contributes to alleviating this pressing issue in the transportation industry.

A Message of Welcome and Encouragement

Ed Wills, the Managing Director of Brighton and Hove Buses, welcomed Syrotiuk to the team and expressed the company’s commitment to providing opportunities for Ukrainians seeking to rebuild their lives.

Wills expressed the hope that Syrotiuk’s employment will pave the way for more refugees like him to find work and security in the UK.

Community Support and Encouragement

Eloise Cornish, an employer adviser lead at Brighton and Hove Jobcentre, voiced her excitement about Syrotiuk’s successful job placement.

She shared that they encountered him at a job fair where his positive attitude was evident, and she expressed enthusiasm about his new beginning with Brighton and Hove Buses.

An Uplifting Story of Integration and Contribution

Volodymyr Syrotiuk’s journey from a warehouse in Ukraine to a bus driver in the UK is a heartening example of how employment opportunities not only provide economic stability but also foster integration and a sense of belonging.

His positive experience speaks to the potential for collaboration between governments, businesses, and individuals to create environments where refugees and immigrants can contribute meaningfully to their adopted homes.

In a time when labor shortages pose challenges to industries, stories like Syrotiuk’s offer a glimmer of hope and showcase the resilience of individuals seeking a fresh start.

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