Sunday, 13 April 2014

POLAND AND THE UK


                 CAUSES AND IMPACTS OF MIGRATION


BACKGROUND INFORMATION

·        Poland was admitted to the EU on 1st April 2004 and with this came the right for any citizen of Poland to move and work freely in other EU countries.
·        Polish people are now the 3rd largest minority in the UK.





PUSH FACTORS

·        High levels of unemployment – in 2005, 18.5% of those at working age were unemployed in Poland compared to 5.1% in the UK. Annual GDP was £13k in Poland compared to £30k in the UK.
·        Low income for the available jobs, deprived living conditions, poor public services and amenities



PULL FACTORS

·        A typical Polish worker could earn 5 times the sum they could in the UK compared to what they could earn in Poland
·        Plenty of obtainable jobs in the UK due to a skills deficiency
·        The UK was one of only three countries who didn’t put a limit on the number of migrants from A8 countries who could enter the country. (A8 countries are Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia)
·        English is the second language in Poland and so there wasn’t a huge language barrier to overcome
·        Migration to the UK was easy due to cheap flights and travel links



IMPACTS OF EMIGRATION ON POLAND

·        ‘Brain drain’ of skilled workers and loss of entrepreneurial spirit may impact on economic development
·        Some regions may suffer a spiral of deterioration that is difficult to get out of
·        Shortage of workers for typically male jobs such as plumbers and firefighters and builders.
·        Marriage rates fall and family structures break down as the population structure becomes imbalanced

·        However, women have found it easier to find employment with less competition from men.
·        Remittances more than doubled from 2004 to 2008
·        There is less pressure on resources and eturning migrants from the UK bring new skills
·        Despite the labour shortages Poland is the only member of the European Union that has not fallen into a recession and that has continued to grow economically. 



IMPACTS OF IMMIGRATION ON THE UK

·        £2.54bn contributed annually to the UK economy by Eastern Europeans
·        80% of migrants are work-age off-setting the problems of an ageing population
·        Migrant workers helped to prevent inflation and an increase in mortgage costs
·        Migrants are stereotypically hard working, skilled and flexible and take up less desirable jobs or fill gaps in the skilled work-force.
·        Creation of a multicultural society increases tolerance; new local services and good/clothes/music

·        However, much of the money made is sent back home as remittances
·        Increased number of people put pressures on resources such as schools and healthcare
·        Large-scale migration to areas that have not experienced it before have led to tensions and misunderstandings e.g. anti-Polish graffiti and isolated incidents of attacks, especially in N.Ireland.




Discussion point: Do the benefits of migrants to the UK’s ageing economy outweigh the problems?



Who Else is Visiting This Blog?