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Ukrainians are a national group that has been pouring into Poland en masse in recent years. According to research, it is estimated that Poland has approximately 850,000 inhabitants of Ukraine. They come to Poland in search of a dignified life. The situation in Ukraine is not conducive to starting a family there, working and pay conditions are very low, so Ukrainians, mainly young people, come to Poland. As a result of the armed conflict in eastern Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have lost their jobs, and they have to leave to be able to work. They want to find a job here, thanks to which they will be able to save money and live with dignity.
What can Poland offer Ukrainians?
Polish plants willingly employ residents of Ukraine. Job advertisements are almost everywhere, there are banners in Ukrainian on the factories, encouraging foreigners to take up a job. The search is mainly for workers in the industrial sector, i.e. where there are no Poles to work. Ukrainians are also eagerly employed by large grocery stores, construction companies and the hotel and catering industry. Currently, it often happens that in a restaurant we are served by a Ukrainian waiter, and in a shop by a saleswoman with a Ukrainian accent.
Companies are doing a lot to attract employees. They guarantee legal work, timely payments, Christmas bonuses, private medical care, packages for children, as well as, most importantly, assistance in obtaining a permanent residence card. They also help in finding accommodation and offer work for loved ones. Ukrainians are a godsend for many employers because they work where Poles do not want to. In some production plants they make up 80% of the workforce. At first, Ukrainians work at low levels, but it happens quite often that they are promoted and occupy managerial positions.
A small group of Ukrainians work illegally in Poland, without a contract of employment. Most often they can be found in small construction or renovation companies and in private homes, where they clean or care for children. Fortunately, the number of migrants who choose to work illegally continues to decline. Ukrainians are looking for, so they can freely choose from job offers. In recent years, employment agencies addressed only to Ukrainians have appeared in most Polish cities. They offer various job offers, help with all formalities and finding a flat. The agencies employ people who know Ukrainian perfectly well, so they can help in any matter. In order to be able to work in Poland, a Ukrainian must obtain a work permit and a temporary residence permit. Poland made the work of the Ukrainians easier and issued an ordinance according to which migrants from Ukraine may “work for 6 months during the next 12 months without the need to obtain a work permit, provided that they have a written declaration the entity entrusting the performance of work, registered in the competent poviat labor office and a written contract “.
What are the Ukrainians coming to Poland like?
Ukrainians coming to Poland are mainly young people, mostly men of working age. What distinguishes them? First of all, they are people determined to undertake hard work, are willing to work after hours or in worse conditions, in cold halls or outside. They are distinguished by their punctuality, diligence, they do not complain, but work diligently. These are most often people with low education, although there are also people with higher education, IT specialists, engineers or doctors. Most of the Ukrainian residents coming to Poland plan to stay here permanently. Some have families, children go to Polish schools. They come to Poland because they have a very close family here, Poles are culturally similar, so they do not feel alienated. The Polish language is similar to their mother tongue, so they don’t have much trouble to communicate. Ukrainians are sociable, kind and willing to help. Young men in Poland often meet their future wives and fully connect the future with Poland.
Will the Ukrainians leave Poland?
Recently, a large group of Ukrainians leave Poland and decide to move further into Europe. In Poland, they gain experience, earn money, but look for places where earnings and living conditions will be better. The breakthrough year may be 2020, when Germany plans to open its labor market to people from outside the EU. However, it is not known how the situation will unfold, because Ukrainians rarely know foreign languages, and in other European countries they do not get along as easily as in Poland.
How are Ukrainians treated in Poland?
Migrants from Ukraine are treated very differently. In most cases, Poles treat them kindly, help and treat them as their own. However, there are situations where Ukrainians are treated with contempt, humiliated and exploited. Poles want to earn as much as possible from them, they offer accommodation, often in very bad conditions. They rent rooms at prices much higher than for Poles. However, Poles must take into account the fact that the number of Ukrainians is increasing, they must accept their existence in the country.