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Teenager from Ukraine who fled the war torn country after Russian invasion wins apprenticeship role at ExxonMobil Fawley

A TEENAGER from Ukraine is one of 11 young people who have just started an apprenticeship at ExxonMobil Fawley.

Viacheslav Pliuiko and his mother were forced to flee their home in Poltava in July last year.

Speaking about his experience of having to leave the war torn country, Viacheslav said: “The last few years have been very difficult for myself and my family, but we have been made to feel very welcome since we came to the UK.

Viacheslav Pliuiko is an apprentice at Exxonmobil in Fawley
Viacheslav Pliuiko is an apprentice at Exxonmobil in Fawley

“Poltava is close to the front line and has come under frequent missile attacks. My family had to take refuge in a shelter several times a day.”

The Russian invasion took a toll on his studying, he said.

“I found it impossible to concentrate on my studies,” said Viacheslav. “Most of my classmates had to leave the country and I knew that I would not be able to progress at school and I would have no prospects for the future, so eventually my mother and I decided to leave.

“My father has had to stay in Ukraine with three of my grandparents, which has been very difficult.”

He and his mother had to live in a hotel for two months after arriving in the UK.

They were then taken in by a British family and Viacheslav started an electrical and electronic engineering course while also finishing his Ukrainian high school education online.

He subsequently applied for an apprenticeship with ExxonMobil, saying: “I have always been interested in engineering and good with maths and physics subjects at school, and I saw numerous opportunities in the ExxonMobil programme as the company is a world leader in the oil and gas industry.”

Viacheslav said he was “overwhelmed” when he heard he had been successful, adding: “It seemed unbelievable. My dream had just come true.”

He and the other ten apprentices will spend their first year at Eastleigh College and the Fawley complex.

The following two years will be spent at the Fawley complex, working towards completion of a Level 3 Science Industry Maintenance Technician Apprenticeship.

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