The company creates an ecosystem for a comfortable return of veterans to the workplace

Metinvest Group provides employment opportunities for veterans and offers appropriate training if necessary. This was stated by Oleg Davydenko, Director of the company’s Corporate Communications Department, at the summit of the Ministry of Veterans Affairs of Ukraine “Veteran’s Path from Military Service to Civilian Life”.

For Metinvest, the war began in 2014, when 1% of its employees were mobilized to the army. Currently, the number of mobilized employees has reached more than 9,000 (every sixth employee of the company). The group’s enterprises have already returned from the war with 500 people.

For the past 1.5 years, the company has been working to create an ecosystem that allows veterans to return to their jobs comfortably. It is based on several key principles. The first is responsibility, meaning that all managers are responsible for working with veterans. The second is consistency. The company implements ongoing psychological support projects, additional medical examinations, veteran communities, etc.

The third principle is priority. In particular, the group conducted a survey of veterans to determine what kind of help they need.

«Many people say that they would like to study and retrain. They want not only upward growth, but also development within the Group as specialists. More than half of them expressed this need, which is quite significant,» Oleg Davydenko said.

The fourth principle of building an ecosystem is fairness, meaning that salaries, opportunities, and growth are equal for all employees.

“Perhaps this was the very first request from veterans: treat us as civilians, not as veterans. They do not need special conditions. This helps them to be part of the team and unite people,” said the Director of Corporate Communications.

At the same time, the company conducted training for managers on how to work with veterans and prevent conflicts in the team. The company also organized open lectures for employees on topics that are sensitive to veterans.

Metinvest also applies the skills that its employees acquired during the war to civilian positions.

“Hard skills mean that if a person has had experience with machinery, then after training and adaptation, they can work with certain types of mining and metallurgical equipment. Soft skills are about teamwork, leadership and management positions. These are skills we develop while working. The transition from military experience to civilian roles needs to be clear to HR and a company’s leadership. This is a highly important process that takes time,” explained Oleh Davydenko.

The company creates all the conditions for a veteran to go through a certain adaptation period, prepare psychologically for civilian realities, receive support from the team to translate military experience into civilian life and use it as efficiently as possible.

Oleg Davydenko noted that a person with new knowledge and military experience is what is needed in the industrial environment. The company has 4,000 vacancies and is ready to hire everyone from the labor market. “Metinvest offers employment opportunities in a wide range of engineering and technical specialties. If necessary, you can undergo training – depending on your qualifications, it can last from 3-6 months or more.

“As for inclusivity, there are obvious limits to how open industrial enterprises can be. A blast furnace shop is a difficult place for a person with certain disabilities. However, we need to work now to ensure that there are opportunities for remote employment, to use any digital tools that make it possible for people to work within the large system of a steel enterprise,” he said.

Metinvest has launched a video course on interacting with war veterans who have returned to civilian life from the front and are undergoing adaptation at the company’s enterprises. The project was created in cooperation with military psychologist and crisis interventionist Olena Nikolskaya. The Group is also implementing US experience in working with veterans.