According to the data of the Lithuanian Department of Statistics, a total of 53 712 war refugees from Ukraine were registered by 21 May 2022. In terms of age most of them are adults aged 18-64 (56%); around 29% are school-age young people between 6 and 17, children below 6 (10.5%) or people over 65 (4.5%).

Legal acts have been adopted to facilitate the settlement of Ukrainians, while permits for residence, study, work, and permits for receiving medical aid are issued promptly. Lithuanian State institutions are actively providing aid to Ukrainian war refugees to help their quick integration.

Ukrainian learners’ access to the national education and training system

Ukrainians who have fled to Lithuania are provided with opportunities to continue with their education and learn a profession in order to help them integrate as soon as possible. Taking into account the situation of war refugees, the conditions for their admission to VET programmes and the organisation of VET have been changed. Ukrainians who have applied for asylum may apply to VET institutions requesting to continue their education under a specific VET programme if they have studied in Ukraine under a similar programme. After assessing an individual’s competences and learning achievements, they may be admitted to the best-suited VET programme and course.

The integration of students from Ukraine is encouraged through their inclusion in previously established VET groups, which were formed for adult or regular school-aged learners.
From the next school year, they will be able to participate in the general admission process taking place in summer 2022, and register in the centralised student admission system – LAMA BPO – through the VET institutions themselves.

If a person does not have proof of education at the time of general admission, his/her competences and learning achievements will be assessed by the VET institution. Ukrainians admitted in a VET programme to study the profession during the summer registration period will be enrolled in newly formed VET groups. Individual training plans are being developed for refugees arriving from Ukraine wishing to learn a profession, and a wide range of learning and educational assistance is being prepared according to specific needs identified by each institution.

Ukrainians in the Lithuanian labour market: employment opportunities

Ukrainian war refugees are not required to obtain a work permit in Lithuania. The Employment Service provides them with the following services: information, counselling, and assistance in employment.

After registration with the Migration Department, Ukrainian citizens and stateless persons who have resided in Ukraine and left the country due to the war have the right to work and pursue independent activities in Lithuania.

According to the Ministry of Social Security and Labour, by 23 May 2022, 6 300 Ukrainian refugees had been employed in Lithuania since the beginning of the war, and 6 500 were listed on the same date with the national employment services as jobseekers. Upon registration with the Employment Service, in addition to employment counselling and placement services, support by a personal counsellor and additional measures for integration into the labour market are included, such as access to training to improve their vocational skills.

In order to achieve the best possible integration of Ukrainian war refugees, free courses in Lithuanian and other foreign languages are organised. A positive sign is that in the information system of the employment service there are some 5 200 vacancies for which employers indicated that they would hire Ukrainian refugees.

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Please cite this news item as: ReferNet Lithuania; Cedefop (2022). Lithuania: VET and employment support for war refugees from Ukraine.  National news on VET