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Emigration from Poland (2.1m Poles are living abroad, most within Europe)


TheOther 6 | 3,821
10 Nov 2013 #1
Interesting read, especially the comments:

Poland's Central Statistics Office estimates that 2.1m Poles are living abroad, most within Europe. That figure peaked at 2.3m in 2007, after which some people started to move back. Yet predictions of a mass return of emigrants as Western Europe slid into recession (whereas Poland did not) proved wrong. For the past three years, the number of emigrants has been rising steadily again. Alarm bells are ringing in Warsaw.

economist/blogs/easternapproaches/2013/11/poland-and-eu
Monitor 14 | 1,820
10 Nov 2013 #2
Some 90% of Polish emigrants have found work in their adoptive countries, he notes, albeit often below their level of qualification.
...
Employers value the skills and practices workers acquire abroad, but in many areas they are still faced with a stubborn problem: the salaries they offer cannot compete with those offered by employers in Germany and beyond.

They write that employers value Poles with experience below their qualification. Especially all Polish cleaning lades. IMHO it's *******. Poles mostly do some simple work abroad which is not in demand in Poland. From what I've heard experience abroad is rather problem, because such a worker will potentially demand more money than local.
peter_olsztyn 6 | 1,098
10 Nov 2013 #3
List of countries worth of emigration is shrinking in a rapid rate. Germany, Switzerland and Norway left
:/
peterweg 36 | 2,316
11 Nov 2013 #4
Poles mostly do some simple work abroad which is not in demand in Poland

In the UK, in my experience, its entirely dependent on being able to speak English. If its good enough, Polish skills and experience are accepted and employment at a same level is possible.

Three of my friends -
One is working in shop, minimum wage (poor English, but no work experience at all in Poland); another worked as a Internet marketeer (good English and experience in Poland) paid £20k;

the third is a conference organiser/manager (good English, lots of relevant Polish experience ) paid £25k.

And obviously for Nurses (or other in-demand professions) like my wife, well paid employment in her field is the norm.

List of countries worth of emigration is shrinking in a rapid rate. Germany, Switzerland and Norway left

Obvious UK and Ireland is still 'worth it' as these countries are very popular with Poles.
OP TheOther 6 | 3,821
11 Nov 2013 #5
What surprised me in the comments section below the article was the frustration of the people that is shining through. Judging from what is posted here on PF most of the time, I thought that people are more comfortable than in the past with the direction the country's heading. Maybe not, I don't know.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
11 Nov 2013 #6
Unfortunately, most of those comments are politically biased and/or nonsense.

I've just read one that claimed that it takes 6 months to start a business. Those of us living in Poland know that it takes a matter of minutes (the time needed to fill in the form, print it and take it to the local Urzad Miasta).

Some of them are also hilarious, such as the history and politics graduate that couldn't find a job when - it has been known for years in Poland that those degrees are unemployment factories.

The reality concerning emigration is that as is mentioned in the comments - these are mostly people who graduated from poor degrees, or people from the countryside.
Tamarisk
11 Nov 2013 #7
Some of them are also hilarious, such as the history and politics graduate that couldn't find a job

I was going to say the same thing, but wanted to add. The person was whining about his family not knowing anyone to find a job. Well this is unfortunately how it works in the whole world nowadays. Unless you know someone it's very hard to find a job.

The person says they landed a job within a month after leaving Poland, yet the job is not mentioned, so we have no idea if the person is working in there field of study or flipping burgers at a McDonalds.
OP TheOther 6 | 3,821
11 Nov 2013 #8
Are you guys sure it's only baseless whining? I know that I have to take the comments with a grain of salt, but there must be at least some truth to them if the number of emigrants is on the rise again. Also, why would the Polish government be concerned of people with poor education leaving the country (other than being worried about demoscopics in general)? I'm just trying to understand how the mood in Poland is regarding this topic.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
11 Nov 2013 #9
Are you guys sure it's only baseless whining?

Yes. If you look at the - for instance - gazeta.pl forums, you'll find that emigrants have a habit of painting Poland as some sort of terrible place.

Also, why would the Polish government be concerned of people with poor education leaving the country

I'm not actually convinced that the Polish Government is that bothered by it. Most of the people leaving are unemployable anyway for various reasons, and the phenomenon is similar to the Yugoslav emigration of the 1960's and 1970's to Germany.

but there must be at least some truth to them if the number of emigrants is on the rise again.

What *is* true in the comments is that there is little future for badly educated people living in villages, or for people who studied crap degrees without having any sort of connections. But the first point is true everywhere, and the second point is directly related to the Polish work culture, or lack of. Most students are horrified at the thought of actually gaining work experience in their holidays, which is again the norm in some Western countries.

I can speak from first hand experience - it is nearly impossible to find students willing to work on projects for their own self development within Poland. They simply don't want to do it if it clashes with things like going home for the various long weekends, summer holidays, etc etc.
Meathead 5 | 470
12 Nov 2013 #10
Yes. If you look at the - for instance - gazeta.pl forums, you'll find that emigrants have a habit of painting Poland as some sort of terrible place.

The violence in Warsaw verifies the complaints in the comments section. Poland has a difficult time governing itself. There appears to be a lack of civic responsibility.
Astoria - | 155
12 Nov 2013 #11
How about 2011 England riots? Lasted for 5 days, 5 dead, lots of damage to property. Would you deduce from that: England has a difficult time governing itself? There appears to be a lack of civic responsibility?
Nojas 4 | 110
12 Nov 2013 #12
I went the other way, I'm happy and can't complain.
jon357 63 | 14,600
12 Nov 2013 #13
Would you deduce from that: England has a difficult time governing itself? There appears to be a lack of civic responsibility?

Not really, Pol, since it was a one off rather than a (worsening) annual event. Members of the public helped to diffuse it and all perpetrators (including those who sat at computers encouraged/glorified it) were tracked down and received jail sentences. The rabble in Warsaw do it every year and people cower from actually doing anytrhing about it. The discredited Jaroslaw Kaczynski even appealed openly to hooligans to support his 'values'.

Poland has a difficult time governing itself. There appears to be a lack of civic responsibility.

There's a sadly low level of social engagement and people willing to volunteer their time to help others.

badly educated people living in villages, or for people who studied crap degrees without having any sort of connections

'Masters' degrees in International Relations advertised on the bus. There are already too many diplomats without questionable 'universities' leading people on.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
12 Nov 2013 #14
The violence in Warsaw verifies the complaints in the comments section. Poland has a difficult time governing itself.

The two aren't connected in the slightest, and Poland doesn't have problems with governing.

Perhaps you should visit Poland once to see for yourself?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
12 Nov 2013 #15
If its good enough, Polish skills and experience are accepted and employment at a same level is possible.

But English is best known foreign language in Poland. In all other emigration destinations, like Germany, Netherlands or Norway Poles mostly don't speak local language, so have similar jobs to People in UK without English. That's why average job of Polish emigrant is quite simple, not requiring any special qualification.

What surprised me in the comments section below the article was the frustration of the people that is shining through

Those who are ok don't write comments. That's why you see only negative.

Most students are horrified at the thought of actually gaining work experience in their holidays

It's not so simple out of few biggest cities, so It's not possible to gain any valuable experience for circa 50% of students, because local job markets don't need student interns.

The violence in Warsaw verifies the complaints in the comments section. Poland has a difficult time governing itself.

It's annual event. Says nothing about the government.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
12 Nov 2013 #16
local job markets don't need student interns.

Of course they do - the problem is that employers know that students will be dreadfully unreliable in summer.

Even small towns have plenty of businesses that would appreciate an extra pair of hands - if students are determined to gain experience in their field, they need to start by being responsible. I know several employers who simply won't take on interns because of their unreliability - they will often agree to (for instance) 4 weeks in summer, only not to show up because they wanted holidays instead.

For what it's worth, my workplace isn't in a big city and we would take on as many interns as were interested in the summer months. There's countless things that can be done then - but they simply aren't interested despite us advertising the possibility.
cms 9 | 1,271
12 Nov 2013 #17
Possibly you need to increase the pay for these - what i find with interns is that you have to pay more than they would get in Pizza Hut or Tesco ?
Monitor 14 | 1,820
12 Nov 2013 #18
Intern is a student. He should not get more than worker of Pizza Hut.
cms 9 | 1,271
12 Nov 2013 #19
Yes he should - because in that case how is he going to want to work for you ? They might want experience but they also need cash to live on and pay off college debts.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
12 Nov 2013 #20
Intern job with pizza hut salary is good enough incentive, because it's the best job student can get. Not only he earns maximum for unqualified worker + gets experience which can lead to higher salary in the future.
OP TheOther 6 | 3,821
12 Nov 2013 #21
Those who are ok don't write comments. That's why you see only negative.

Good point, although I tend to believe that people who are happy in Poland would go against negative or blatantly false comments if they come across them.

But English is best known foreign language in Poland.

I thought German is also widespread. I know for example that there are plenty of Polish nurses in Germany who definitely need a good command of the German language.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
12 Nov 2013 #22
It depends what you mean by widespread. Here is an interesting report from EU "Foreign Languages in Europe": imgur.com/a/Vbg5c

According to it ~27% of graduates reaches B1 level of their 1st foreign language in listening and only ~4% reaches B1 in their 2nd language. German is for the great majority of students 2nd language. So is it a lot?

actually this report is called "first European Survey on Language Competences"
OP TheOther 6 | 3,821
12 Nov 2013 #23
So is it a lot?

Interesting indeed. To be honest, my assumption was based in part on my various contacts with Polish state archives where employees until very recently didn't speak English at all, but only German and Polish. The younger generation has switched to English now, it seems, which of course makes more sense in a global market.
Monitor 14 | 1,820
13 Nov 2013 #24
Maybe you had contact with cities marked green on this map? There knowledge of German is higher than elsewhere.
pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plik:Verbreitungsgebiet_der_deutschen_Sprache.PNG
peterweg 36 | 2,316
13 Nov 2013 #25
and only ~4% reaches B1 in their 2nd language.

Only 1% of the Polish population are working in Germany. From my experience most Polish youth speak English and the few that I have met who can speak German were aiming to work in Germany.
OP TheOther 6 | 3,821
13 Nov 2013 #26
Only 1% of the Polish population are working in Germany.

It's 1.4% actually. Poland had 38.4 million people in 2012, of which 532,000 worked in Germany. They are already the second largest group of foreigners in Germany.

Maybe you had contact with cities marked green on this map?

Only some of them, but I believe it's more a question of how old people are. The 40 somethings in Poland are most likely much better in German and Russian than in English, while the young generation turned to English as their second language.
Meathead 5 | 470
15 Nov 2013 #27
It's annual event. Says nothing about the government.

What's the social conditions for the rioting? Which is what the comments in the article were saying. I'm not arguing here or trying to make a point but I was surprised at the rioting, I thought Poland was socially stable.
Maybe 12 | 409
21 Nov 2013 #28
Merged: Skills shortage amongst Poland's technical workers due to emigration

Anna Kwiatkiewicz of the Lewiatan employers' confederation complains of a "skills drain" among technical workers. She says that if Polish workers can't be lured back, the government urgently needs a pro-active policy to encourage immigration to replace them.

The quote above is from the article below, exploring the fact that Poland will need immigrants to replace lost workers in the future.

This article is about the lose of Polish youth and skill to Belgium.
delphiandomine 83 | 17,897
21 Nov 2013 #29
Anna Kwiatkiewicz of the Lewiatan employers' confederation complains of a "skills drain" among technical workers.

It's more of an issue that new ones simply aren't being trained, I think, combined with the fact that the post-1989 governments didn't value higher technical education in the same way that the Communists did. Technical schools are expensive to operate, and with a university sector that is bloated beyond belief - a whole generation has grown up without those skills that the previous generation had.
Marek11111 9 | 816
21 Nov 2013 #30
The quote above is from the article below, exploring the fact that Poland will need immigrants to replace lost workers in the future.

no, Poland will need to pay higher wages to retain workers.


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