Cedefop explored its online job advertisement (OJA) tool Skills OVATE, which provides a view on skill and job demand across Europe, to learn more about the online job ads reaching out to Ukrainian refugees.

Since the start of the Russian aggression in Ukraine in February 2022, measures aimed at supporting Ukrainian refugees were established across the EU. They were taken by a wide variety of actors and targeted the provision of housing, health care, education, and employment to refugees. Many job portals started to advertise jobs directly addressed to Ukrainians, trying to attract them via a dedicated filter in job search criteria to ease finding employers interested in hiring them, or via a banner leading directly to suitable job offers. New online job advertisement (OJA) aggregator websites bundling job ads suitable for Ukrainians have appeared, in some cases developed by national OJA providers joining forces. Employers and public employment services have also stepped up their efforts to tap into the rapidly growing Ukrainian workforce in the EU.

The OJA data are not a comprehensive source of job vacancies, though. Many Ukrainians, especially those looking for less skilled jobs, likely found work opportunities via other channels, e.g., information posted on social media or via contacts with their fellow countrymen (so-called migrant networks). Finding employment through migrant networks could be more effective because Ukrainians represent the third largest diaspora of immigrants in Europe (Eurostat). At the end of 2020, the countries with the most Ukrainians with valid residence permits were Poland, Italy, and Czechia.

Cedefop identified the advertisements targeting Ukrainians by searching content of OJAs for terms that included a mention that it is suitable “for Ukrainian” workers. Information on OJAs written in Ukrainian was also included. Prior to the war, one in four analysed OJAs was written in Ukrainian; since the war started it dropped to just 8%.  Employers either lacked the skills and capacity to translate many job ads, or it became apparent the workers could react to OJAs written in other languages sufficiently well. Ukrainian language usually appeared in the filter options, banners or on landing pages that filter suitable OJAs. In other OJAs national languages or English (some 20% of the identified OJAs) were used in the job descriptions. For example, Research on Poland by the Centre of Migration Research indicates that 1/3 of Ukrainians that arrived in the country in 2022 had prior migration experience in Poland. It is likely that they had some command of Polish allowing them to react to online job advertisements. 

The Cedefop analysis shows prior to the war there were around 3 thousand OJAs targeting Ukrainians a month. An upward trend was already visible in the autumn 2021 when tensions and the build-up of the Russian army on the Ukrainian borders became significant. From October 2021 to February 2022 there were on average five thousand OJAs; in March and April 2022 there were already 18 thousand and the peak was reached in May (more than 20 thousand). The numbers have declined since then, as many Ukrainians chose to return to their homeland, despite ongoing hostilities and dangerous circumstances.

Figure 1: Number of OJAs targeting Ukrainians in the EU

Number of OJAs targeting Ukrainians in the EU













Source: Skills OVATE microdata. Own calculations.

Notable changes have occurred in national shares in the pool of Ukrainian job ads (Figure 2). Poland – because of its size, favourable migration policies allowing Ukrainian workers to access the labour market, language, and geographical proximity - was the most important market both before and during the war, accounting for more than one third of all OJAs. Prior to the war, Poland was followed by other large EU countries – Italy, France, Germany – where employers posted another third of OJAs targeting Ukrainians.

The flow of refugees changed the situation significantly. After Poland, now Czechia and Romania have the most OJAs for Ukrainians. Germany remains fourth, followed by Latvia, Slovakia, and Estonia. These seven countries jointly account for 81% of OJAs for Ukrainians in 2022. The shares of Italy, France, and most other EU countries declined, although in absolute terms OJAs for Ukrainians grew also there.

Figure 2: Share of EU countries on total number of OJAs targeting Ukrainians

Share of EU countries on total number of OJAs targeting Ukrainians

Source: Skills OVATE microdata. Own calculations.

Since the war started, the occupations in OJA targeting workers from Ukraine recruit for have varied. As OJAs tend to overestimate the demand for higher skilled jobs, it is no surprise that prior to the war almost half of OJAs targeting Ukrainians offered managerial or professional level jobs.

Figure 3: Share of broad occupations on total number of OJAs targeting Ukrainians

Share of broad occupations on total number of OJAs targeting Ukrainians













Source: Skills OVATE microdata. Own calculations.

In 2022, the relative importance of these two broad occupation groups declined, while demand for medium and even low skilled occupations increased. Among jobs for professionals, demand remained highest for software developers, system analysts and engineering professionals. OJAs for high skilled occupations increased fastest for social work professionals, finance specialists, and teaching professionals though.

Many lower skilled positions have also appeared among the highest demanded profiles. These include manufacturing labourers, cooks, kitchen helpers, shop assistants or cleaners and helpers.

Cedefop’s data has also analysed the most demanded skills and knowledge in OJAs for Ukrainians. Unsurprisingly, foreign languages are the most demanded skill, followed by digital and interpersonal skills, like working with others. Knowledge areas commonly requested include business and administration, ICT technologies, communication, and engineering. Similar to what is the case in all other job ads Cedefop’s Skills OVATE monitors, adapting to change is by far the most requested quality.

Figure 4: Skill demand in Ukrainian OJAs (as a share of OJAs containing the requirement)

Most demanded skills






Most demanded knowledge






Most demanded values and attitudes







Source: Skills OVATE microdata. Own calculations.

OJA are well suited to track labour market trends and developments in a detailed way, and almost in real time. While not comprehensive, the analysis presented above shows there is potential for using OJA in the context of better matching skills needs in the EU, with the skills Ukrainians fleeing the war bring with them.

What online job ads show about Ukrainians in the EU