The largest infrastructure projects in Poland may be at risk. At least 150,000 qualified employees are already missing in the Polish construction market. The Warsaw Chamber of Commerce on its website on the Internet and in the paper magazine TTG Wiadomości Gospodarcze monthly reports on the state of the labor market, emphasizing the need to facilitate the employment of foreigners.
Polish companies attract construction workers from neighboring countries, but this resource is slowly depleting. They gradually leave for Western European countries, where salaries are higher, and in the opinion of representatives of Polish business, the only way out that can somewhat remedy the situation is the government’s easing of legislation. It is about facilitating the recruitment of employees from abroad or obtaining a work permit for foreigners without analyzing the labor market. Without this, it can be difficult to realize some large infrastructure investments.
Wages are growing, but those who want to work in Poland are not added.
– The lack of employees is one of the main problems currently facing the construction industry. Major contractors fear that this could lead to some of the largest infrastructure projects failing. We are talking about the construction of highways or expressways, the modernization of railway lines and, possibly, projects related, for example, to the construction of the Central Communication Port, J.D. Puzinski, program director of the TOR team of economic consultants, writes the Polish edition of Newseria.
The construction industry currently lacks nearly 150,000 workers. There are companies that are willing to hire several thousand new employees. Human resources are almost exhausted in all areas. Although wages have been at their highest since 1989 and are constantly increasing, there are still not enough workers.
– If contractors cannot do work without the emergency employment of new employees, investment costs may increase. This is a problem for the companies themselves, because without proper staff they may have problems with the implementation of large projects and the continuation of work. And if we fail to execute projects that were to be co-financed by the funds of the European Union by 2023, we risk that these funds will be lost … Newseria quotes one of the industry players.
Ukrainians are no longer enough.
Builders are still saved by Ukrainians and Belarusians. According to the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy, in 2017, about 1.8 million applications of foreigners about their intention to entrust work were made. The overwhelming majority concerned Ukrainian citizens. In construction, where last year 214 thousand of them worked, the growth for the year reached 34%. Slowly, however, the Ukrainians also went missing. Thus, companies are starting to invite Indians and Nepalis, whose number is growing in Poland. Thus, during the year the number of citizens of Nepal increased six times. However, this is not a scale of growth capable of replacing economic immigration due to Poland’s eastern borders.
… I confirm the problem of lack of qualified staff. Ukrainian workers are great, they are trying to learn, and benefit the economy. However, in order to replace them with Polish builders, it is necessary to make changes in vocational education, namely, to return to the training of practical professions such as carpenters and fixtures … Marian Servach, President of the Board of Plonskaya Chamber of Commerce and Industry, owner of a construction company (quoted by WIG)
Currently, the demand for employees is greatest, since the scale of investment in infrastructure planned for 2018–2022 is enormous.