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The Warsaw Voice » Business » May 7, 2015
Business & Economy
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Young, Educated, Looking for Work
May 7, 2015   
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Poland is one of the most attractive countries for investors not only in its region but throughout Europe, according to several studies and reports that have been published recently. And one of Poland’s greatest strengths in the eyes of foreign investors is that it has well-educated, highly skilled, productive and motivated employees.

Western companies and institutions are opening their offices in Poland precisely because of all those young and educated Poles who speak foreign languages. It could seem that Poland has become a paradise for job seekers. But the reality is somewhat different. Even well-educated people in Poland are having difficulty finding work commensurate with their skills and aspirations. And more and more people are starting to look for job opportunities abroad.

The latest report by the Work Service company on the economic migrations of Polish workers shows that the percentage of those who are thinking of seeking employment abroad remains constantly high. One in five active or potential participants of the Polish labor market does not exclude such an option in the next 12 months. The percentage of those definitely planning to leave the country in search of higher wages rose to 6.4 percent this year, from 5 percent in 2014. This means that 250,000 more people are determined to emigrate than in the previous year. And we must remember that around 2 million Poles are already working abroad.

Fortunately, the results of the study indicate that the prospect of emigration is the least likely to tempt well-educated people. More likely to head off abroad are those with a secondary and elementary education. This means that there is a chance that the potentially most valuable employees will remain in Poland and contribute to its GDP instead of, for example, Germany’s or Britain’s. But to keep such people, Poland has to be able to offer them jobs in modern and innovative companies.

Until recently, the Polish economy was able to expand mainly due to lower labor costs and impressive productivity growth. Polish companies have become specialized in simple production based on a cheap and mostly low-skilled work force. Unfortunately, this growth did not translate into increased investment, because there was no such need. There were few innovative companies, the achievements of science were way behind those of western Europe, and there were few patents. This must change (and is changing, as studies show). Otherwise Poland will cease to be one of the most dynamically developing countries in Europe, and young educated Poles will begin to emigrate en masse to look for work abroad.
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