Shortage in semi-skilled labour becoming a headache for Poland

Wojciech Pacewicz

Poland has indicated that it would be willing to review its stance on immigration to satisfy the country’s increasing labour shortage.

When asked whether refusing to receive immigrants who could integrate into the local labor market was a mistake, the Minister of Development Jerzy Kwieciński said that "the matter should be reconsidered".

The Polish market has recorded a severe shortage of workers recently, with mass migration of Polish workers to the EU to blame.

Construction is one of the hardest hit industries, with more than 100,000 workers currently required to meet the demand. As a result, Polish companies are turning to markets in Belarus, Ukraine and even Bangladesh to plug the hole.

In an interview with Sky News, spokesman for Poland’s biggest construction company Budimex, Krzysztof Kozioł, said that the company was struggling to recruit new workers.

"We're seeing a labor shortage in our company, but the same goes for our subcontractors. Sometimes they offer to provide us with construction equipment but then add that they do not have anyone to drive it,” Kozioł said.

Experts estimate that the situation may worsen in coming years, mainly due to the fact that EU countries offer professional workers better conditions than on the Polish market.

Economists warn that the shortage of working hands could lead to a reduction in economic growth rates in the future. According to predictions, while the Polish economy will need 20 million workers in order to maintain the current growth figures, the working age population in Poland will only be 16 million in 2030.

Some of predictions estimate that by 2030 one in every five skilled manual jobs will be vacant.