The Algarve tourism sector will welcome Ukrainian refugees with open arms, offering them job opportunities, accommodation and even activities to keep their children occupied while they are working.
So said the regional tourism chief João Fernandes, who explained that the idea is to give Ukrainian citizens fleeing the war a chance to work in the hospitality sector with the conditions they need to live in Portugal.
“Last week we were contacted by the director of the District Centre of Social Security, Margarida Flores, to know our availability to welcome Ukrainian refugees,” Fernandes told Expresso newspaper.
“And the truth is, we are fully available (to welcome them),” Fernandes said, stressing the labour shortage in the hospitality sector and the “very positive perception” the Portuguese have of “Ukrainians living in Portugal.”
RTA has already contacted several hotel groups in the Algarve, all of which welcomed the idea.
Besides offering jobs, larger hotel groups “also have the capacity to provide accommodation to employees, which also helps solve the housing problem,” added the tourism boss.
The scheme is being drawn up with the help of the regional delegations of Social Security, the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), and Portuguese Institute of Sports and Youth (IPDJ).
“It is important that we are able to gather good conditions to welcome them, as well as the possibility to integrate them into active life,” Fernandes added.
At the end of last week, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa had already expressed Portugal’s willingness to welcome Ukrainian refugees.
“Instructions were transmitted to the Portuguese Embassies in Ukraine and bordering countries to provide immediate visas so that refugees can come to Portugal,” said Costa, adding that refugees would also be granted immediate Social Security and Tax Authority numbers (click here).