Employment and education: How to help veterans?

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Kharkiv IT Cluster helps veterans find their place in civilian life and overcome employment challenges. On May 15, as part of the RazomTech project, a lively offline discussion took place in Kharkiv, bringing together representatives of the IT business and veterans. Participants at the event identified strategic directions of work and shared practical cases on how to effectively integrate veterans into the work environment and life. Learn more about the RazomTech project and the return of veterans to the job market in the article.

Veterans and the Job Market

Over 1 million servicemen are currently defending Ukraine, with an equal number having become veterans and returned to civilian life. As of August 1, 2023, there were over 908,000 registered in the Unified State Register.

It’s important to note that before the full-scale invasion, there were 500,000 registered veterans.

Currently, they need support in education and employment, as the unemployment rate among veterans is 30.95%. According to a 2024 survey by the Ukrainian Veterans Foundation, many are concerned about physical health issues (63.61%), lack of understanding from society (63.32%), and psychological difficulties (50.57%). For instance, serviceman Mykhailo Voloshchuk believes:

«Reintegration needs to start even in the army, during service. And to prepare for it, we need not only an informational field but concrete steps to improve health, mental state, and integration into society»

Collaboration between Veterans and Employers

Veterans possess unique experience and skills such as teamwork, resilience, and quick decision-making. These competencies can significantly transform businesses from within, according to entrepreneurs. For example, EPAM Ukraine, a member of the Kharkiv IT Cluster community, has already implemented a program to support veterans. Now, specialists who were defending Ukraine yesterday are undergoing adaptation, receiving necessary support, and creating innovative technologies again.

«Socially responsible business always cares about society, the country, and the future. According to Ministry estimates, around 4 million veterans will return from the war – this is a significant resource. Therefore, we actively support them and aim to cooperate as effectively as possible, integrating their skills and experience into our projects», says Alexander Lucik, head of EPAM Ukraine’s office in Kharkiv.

It’s important to note that in 2024, only 4.3% of veterans are in the IT sector.

Kharkiv IT Cluster and EPAM Ukraine initiative

Kharkiv IT Cluster, along with EPAM Ukraine, initiated the RazomTech project to help veterans find their place in the technology industry.

«People are the foundation of the IT business, and Kharkiv IT Cluster has always invested in their education. The war significantly changed our human capital. Today, almost every company has people who either went to the front or have already returned and started their careers. That’s why we created RazomTech. It’s a comprehensive project that changes the culture within companies so that both veterans and employers feel more comfortable. It also provides access to education and career opportunities in the IT field. However, it’s an ecosystem, and we need to work on its development together with the government, volunteer organizations, and IT companies», explains Olga Shapoval, executive director of Kharkiv IT Cluster.

«The project creates an environment for professional growth and reintegration of veterans in comfortable conditions. We are glad to be involved in this process and provide support for the powerful development of defenders in IT», adds Alexander Lucik, head of EPAM Ukraine’s office in Kharkiv.

The idea of ​​creating the RazomTech project arose in August 2023. And the first event was held within 3 months. As of now, we have developed a career guidance course, launched career consultations, and started preparing IT companies for integrating veterans into the technology industry.

«It’s a great opportunity for exchanging experiences and discovering new perspectives that veterans may not have even considered. Increasing the number of speakers, experts, and participants significantly increases the amount of useful information and the number of important contacts that can be obtained. More events like this need to be organized to facilitate effective reintegration of veterans into society. This will help veterans not only adapt to civilian life but also find new opportunities for self-realization, feeling support and understanding from society», notes military psychologist Victor Komarenko.

«RazomTech is an engine that drives the future — our common future. Here, veterans not only find their place in society, but they embody ideas, apply accumulated experience, and accelerate the development of Ukraine», concludes Olga Shapoval, executive director of Kharkiv IT Cluster.

Do you want to create the future our heroes deserve together with Kharkiv IT Cluster? Join the RazomTech project.

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