Poland sees a boom in overseas workers
Poland is accepting more temporary workers than any other OECD country, according to a new report by Work Services.
While Ukrainians remain the biggest group among them, employment of Asian workers is growing the fastest.
Work Service, an international HR company, conducted research on the mobility of workers from abroad to Poland. In their report “Economic Migrations of Foreigners from Ukraine and Asia to Poland”, they found out that during the first six months of 2019 232,000 people received work permits.
Of that number, 23,400 were given to citizens of 10 Asian countries (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, Vietnam, China, South Korea, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan) which is eight times more than in the first half of 2015.
George Bisay Lekahena, Consul at the Indonesian Embassy in Warsaw said: “Poland is an opportunity to experience life in Europe, and for Indonesians, Europe is a better life, better wages, a safe life, law which is in force and respected.
“They compare Europe to the Middle East, China, Taiwan, where many Indonesians go to work. In these countries, working conditions are much worse than in Europe, it is not as safe, and the rules and laws are not respected in this way.
“Indonesians are very family friendly, just like Poles, and the family is the most important thing for them. They identify themselves with the lifestyle they observe among Poles.”
Asian workers are mainly employed as industrial and craft workers (37 percent) and as workers in simple jobs (31.7 percent) – in this category the Nepalese and Filipino are the largest group.
Specialist and IT positions are occupied mainly by Indian workers. The remaining jobs include machine operators and assemblers (7.1 percent), service and sales workers (6.3 percent), or specialists (6.1 percent).
Despite the growing number of Asian workers, Ukrainians still remain the largest foreign workers group in Poland.
It is estimated that between 800,000 and 1,2 million are currently staying here. At the same time 40 percent of Ukrainians who emigrated from their home country moved to Poland.
The Work Services report points out that the Ukrainian work force will play an important role in the Polish economy for years to come, even if its availability will lessen.
“Burdensome constraints linked to relatively short periods of employment based on a system of declarations, a lengthy process of prolonging the legality of work and residence, turnover and workers’ rising wage expectations make employers increasingly open up to employment also from other foreign destinations, including Asia,” explained Ewa Klimczuk, the company’s’ Country Manager.
Additionally, Ukrainian workers’ interest in moving to Germany has decreased from 60 percent in 2018 to less than 30 percent in 2019.
“Greater knowledge of the requirements that the German labour market places on candidates has verified the plans of employees for the moment," says the report.
Foreigners working in Poland are increasingly setting up their own businesses as well.
According to ZUS (Social Insurance Institution), in the last four years the number of foreigners with registered businesses grew from 4,500 to 19,400.
Among them, almost 5,000 are Ukrainians, though social security contributions are being paid, in total, by citizens of 148 countries.