polish migration to the uk 2004
December 5, 2020
But now, there are signs of an anti-Polish backlash. As in 2005, a series of elementary and sales related jobs occupied the bulk of the Polish workforce. The more detailed breakdown shows a growing concentration in a smaller number of occupations. In the run-up to 2004 the number almost doubled. This was in sharp contrast to the general pattern where such migrants were under-represented or over-represented to a small degree. The two most used statistical sources for measuring the inflow of Poles by researchers, politicians and the media are the Worker Registration Scheme and the issue of National Insurance Numbers. 438–453. The 2011 census revealed 2,015,500 temporary migrants, of whom 611,000 were living in the UK (30.3 per cent of the total); of these, 466 500 had stayed in Britain for at least one year. Garapich M. P. (2008). Spencer 2006) although how many were employed in this way is uncertain. New figures show that 447,000 people from Poland and the seven other new EU states have applied to work in the UK. Only 8.2 per cent arrived before 2001, although many who had come during this time would have become naturalised. For those with developing careers, upward social mobility stabilised the population leading to longer stays and even settlement. That other countries did not follow suit meant the lack of any strong competition from other receiving countries. Based on 115 interviews with Polish mothers in the UK and Poland, as well as a specially-commissioned opinion poll, this topical book discusses recent Polish migration to the UK. Structural demographic and economic factors. Since 2004 over half a million Polish migrants have registered to work in the UK, constituting one of the largest migration movements in contemporary Europe. Dundee. Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. The UK census pictures a maturing settled population, still tending to occupy relatively lower skilled jobs but showing evidence of upward social mobility. My research suggests that in 2004, Germany was the lead destination country for migration from Poland. Estimates of the flow vary because the definitions and counting systems used present differing pictures. UKIE (Urząd Komitetu Integracji Europejskiej) (2005). Employer and Labour Provider Perspectives on Eastern European Migration to the UK. There were an estimated 831,000 Polish-born residents in 2015 - a jump of almost 750,000 compared with the number in 2004, the year the country joined the EU. However, migration, even within Europe in the technically advanced 21st century, is not easy – there is always a cost and migrants still miss the familiarity of home. IPS data are based on intentions and so it is likely that they exclude most people seeking asylum and dependants of asylum seekers. Although it was assumed that substantial numbers might come, it was also assumed that most would return home in due course. Policy in the UK. She was part of what Professor Anne White, researcher on Polish migration at University College London, refers to as a “great wave of enthusiasm” for UK migration. Latterly networks have developed into a multitude of websites and internet radio stations geared to helping migrants as well as organising events such as one-day job fairs. The UK was one of only three countries that allowed these new European Union migrants to come and work straight away – countries such as France and Germany put transitional restrictions in place to delay this right. Online: http://www.crei.cat/conferences/Unemployment_in_Transition_Economies__De... (accessed: 13 February 2013). For many self-employed, some mastery of the English language, enabling them to cope with the necessary legal and bureaucratic complexities, was key to business establishment (Helinska–Hughes, Hughes, Lassalle, Skowron n.d.). LEQS Paper No. Migration of Poles to the United Kingdom: an overview Migration from Poland to the United Kingdom is by no means a recent phenomenon: it began on a small-scale as early as in the sixteenth century. A majority of post-accession migrants were of young working age (81–83 per cent at age 20–34) but in the course of time new migrants included more children and middle-aged adults.4 Of particular note is that the age profile of the UK-bound Polish migrants shows a large, albeit decreasing over time, predominance in the 20–24 bracket (42 pre-accession, 37.8 early post-accession and 36.2 per cent recession period). Polish migration to the UK in the 'new' European Union : after 2004. The movements are particularly a response to demographic and economic factors in Poland and to a widespread but to some extent hidden shortage of labour in some sectors in the UK. ‘A Van Full of Poles’: Liquid Migration from Central and Eastern Europe, in: R. Black, G. Engbersen, M. Okólski, C. Pantiru (eds), A Continent Moving West? However, it appears that the availability of migrants from the new accession states in 2004 may have halted the decline in employment in an industry where workers were being substituted by labour-saving capital investment, so that the effect of the new workers was to slow investment as cheaper labour became available.11 In their submissions to the MAC, most employers complained of the continuing impossibility of recruiting British workers so that foreign workers in the industry were not displacing domestic ones. Since the opening of the labour market following Poland joining the European Union in 2004, Poland experienced a mass migration of over 2 million abroad. Until accession, the realisation of this potential flow was slow because of its high dependence on relatively few social contacts in receiving countries and on the ability to find jobs in the shadow economies of EU15 countries. London: Institute for Public Policy Research. France and Germany, considered in the pre-accession period as main targets for Polish migrants, quickly expressed their reluctance and decided to introduce a transition period; Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands, which at the time of negotiations were favourable to immediate and unlimited access to their labour markets, eventually adopted a partial solution (UKIE 2005). The substantial presence of Poles in the administrative and service sector referred to earlier is predominantly a reflection of their registration with employment agencies which were then recorded as their employers and from where they were able to take up temporary posts in a range of occupations across industries. This may suggest that the causes on the part of the receiving country, the ‘pull factors’ might have been more powerful than the ‘stick factors’ in Poland that might discourage emigration. Montfort University, Leicester); the Leicester symposium resulted in the first book about post-2004 Polish migration to the UK, Burrell (ed.) This has made it harder for some people to feel at home here. The move from communism to capitalism took a long time and unemployment was particularly high for young people in 2004, when the country joined the European Union. Polish people have been migrating to the UK in large numbers since the 2004, when Poland joined the European Union. Volume II: Sex and Age Distribution of the World Population. The results of the 2011 census provide an opportunity to profile the new Polish population in the UK. Most emphasis is put on conditions in Poland, emphasising the push effects of low wage rates, youth unemployment and lack of opportunities, especially for women, resulting from the post-communist restructuring of the Polish economy. The Sociological Review 4(57): 608–625. Drinkwater S., Eade J., Garapich M. (2009). Using the available statistical evidence, we have compiled as comprehensive a picture as possible of the scale and nature of the new Polish migration to the UK. Migration Transitions in an Era of Liquid Migration, in: M. Okólski (ed. Estimating the number of Poles who came to the UK is not easy. Dustmann C., Casanova M., Fertig M., Preston I., Schmidt C. M. (2003). While many did not have jobs, others migrated because they could not earn enough money in their jobs in Poland. Although after adjustments there is a broad consensus between them in the number of Poles coming to work, Harris, Moran and Bryson (2010) show that discrepancies between WRS and NINo statistics vary geographically, being particularly great in London (55 per cent difference) where self-employment is more likely. Life in the UK was perceived to be easier and of higher quality. Estimated stock of temporary migrants from Poland in 2002–2012 by major country of destination. Polish migration to the UK after 2004 has become one of the most significant movements in UK migration history – official numbers put the movement at over 600,000. 6 All data in this paragraph were derived from the Polish CSO statistics. Additionally, pay in the UK was much higher than in Poland. 3, No. Polish immigrants take £1bn out of the UK economy. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing. The data for 2010 show similar concentrations, indicating that over the intervening period little had changed. ILO (International Labour Organisation) (2010). Throughout the period of accession negotiations the government of Poland had stressed the importance it attached to free movement of people (and labour) as a basic principle of European unity and a major benefit of membership. Third, many people in Poland felt general frustration that life was just still so difficult – difficult to find work, to make the right contacts, or to make enough money even when you did have a job. Parallel to this boom, a significant improvement occurred with regard to the incidence of learning and knowledge of foreign languages, especially English and German. For more information on EU migration in the UK, see the Migration Observatory briefing, EU Migration to and From the UK. Surveys of return migrants in Poland (IIBR 2006, quoted in Cizkowicz et al. The stock of the Polish population in the UK in 2004–2013. Polish Migration to Ireland Post-2004. Brighton: University of Sussex. In the UK, as elsewhere, Poland topped the numbers of new European 'accession' migrants by a large margin – ahead of Lithuanians and Slovakians, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the total. Interaktywny Instytut Badań Rynkowych. On average, 44,000 came each year, the highest figure being 88,000 in 2007; since 2009, the number has been just over 30,000 per annum. There was a Polish population in the UK before 2004, and this helped to create networks and contacts between the diaspora and those back home. Two new questions in the 2011 census, on year of arrival and nationality, allow analyses not hitherto possible. www.wiadomosci.gazeta.pl/wiadomosci/1,114873,12784797,Polska_na_10_miejs... www.ippr.org.uk/members/download.asp?f=/ecomm/files, http://orka2.sejm.gov.pl/IZ3.nsf/main/0B819ACD, www.stats.oecd.org/Index.aspx?DatasetCode=AV_AN_WAGE, http://www.bath.ac.uk/polis/networks/polish-migration/, Helping the Homeland in Troubled Times: Advocacy by Canada’s Ukrainian Diaspora in the Context of Regime Change and War in Ukraine, ‘By Education I’m Catholic’. These changes transformed and upgraded the human capital of Polish youth and often stimulated professional aspirations and life strategies that could not be fulfilled in Poland but required further studies or work in other countries. The emergence and rapid growth of a middle class after 1989 was accompanied by a growing demand for an international education. Of those in employment 56,931, or 17.7 per cent, were self-employed. Table 2 and Figure 2). Housing tenure. Source: Home Office, Worker Registration Scheme. Finally we suggest that the principal motivation of the migration was employment and that a particular combination of circumstances in both countries orchestrated the flow. Discourses of a ‘Normal Life’ among Post-Accession Migrants from Poland to Britain, in: K. Burrell (ed.) Polish Migration to the UK in the ‘New’ European Union: After 2004, pp. Rogaly B. All this means that at the time of accession, a high quality labour force was available and one which continued to improve.10. 18596. Online: www.http://orka2.sejm.gov.pl/IZ3.nsf/main/0B819ACD (accessed: 25 April 2014). In 2000, almost three-quarters (72.8 per cent) were for professional, managerial or associate professional and culture and media occupations. Contrary to the views of the Polish government during pre-accession negotiations with the EU, the level of education and ability to communicate in foreign languages was not low and in the immediate pre- and post-accession period, the situation greatly improved. It is possible that many of the latter were in tied accommodation, especially in rural areas, where some form of accommodation formed part of fringe benefits. Age and sex. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Instytutu Filozofii i Socjologii PAN. 11 We are indebted to Professor Alan Manning of the London School of Economics for this insight. First, Poland has always had a culture of mobility, for example, in the nineteenth century hundreds of thousands of Poles migrated to the United States, and Poles have always travelled to work in neighbouring Germany. 82% are aged 18-34. Urban/rural residence prior to migration. Unfortunately, the recent migration of Poles to Britain revealed so many significant determinants involving the interplay of a wide variety of factors that it hardly fits any theoretical framework applied to analyses of current intra-European population movements. Central and Eastern European Migration Review, Vol. This last claim was based on the growing costs of supporting two homes by migrant workers (one in Poland and another in a foreign country), which could not be offset by the existing (in fact, narrowing) wage differences between Poland and EU15 countries. However, in the last of three periods under consideration, these characteristics became a little blurred as the nature of migrants evolved. Our purposes are to; monitor migration flows to and from the UK, provide to the press and public the most accurate, available information, in a comprehensible form, provide balanced comment, identify policy options for consideration by government. Even though it is still emotionally difficult to migrate, it is far easier to travel and stay connected than it ever has been, making migration less risky. In service provision, such as hospitality, migrants provided flexibility in working practices that reduced costs. Tijdscrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie 103(2): 209–221. OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) (2014). A low to moderate over-representation of male migrants was observed in all three sub-periods for those heading for the UK, although in the third sub-periods it was considerably lower. Unlike several other authors who investigated the causes of the post-accession migration from the new EU member states of Central and Eastern Europe, including migration of Poles to the UK (e.g. The United Kingdom Experience of Post-Enlargement Worker Inflows from New EU Member Countries, in: Free Movement of Workers and Labour Market Adjustment, pp. Burrell 2006, 2010; Cook, Dwyer, Waite 2011; Galasińska, Kozłowska 2009; Luthra et al. In addition, accession to the EU meant that Polish students enjoyed the same conditions as the British with regard to tuition fees and access to stipends. The first to arrive in the UK were about 120,000 Poles, who arrived in 1945; the substantial Polish communities in Manchester, Bradford and west London date from this time. However, at the time of writing a detailed breakdown for those in Scotland is not available so that the data below refer to England and Wales only. Studenci polscy na uczelniach w Londynie po 2004 roku. Szewczyk A. Poles Apart? The overt visibility of the population may well fade, but it is unlikely that the significance of Poland and Polish culture, and the presence of Polish life in local landscapes, will vanish completely. About a third were in elementary occupations, almost 19 per cent worked in manufacturing as process, plant and machine operatives, 15 per cent in managerial, professional and technical occupations, 16 per cent in skilled trades and 18 per cent in other services (leisure, caring, sales and administrative and secretarial). The Government estimates that since Poland joined the EU in 2004, almost 1,000,000 Polish immigrants now live in the UK. By putting together statistical and other data from both ends of the flow we hope to assess the scale of flows to and from the UK and in turn to tease out the reasons for what may well have been the largest voluntary migration between two countries over a short period. 8 All data in this paragraph were derived from national statistics of the respective countries. Favell A. Source: Labour Force Survey (annual) and 2011 census. Degree holders were relatively highly represented but their proportion declined with time from 25.2 per cent pre-accession to 17.5 per cent in the later period. News release. Migrants Selectivity Index by selected Polish migrants’ characteristics in the UK and Germany in pre-accession, early post-accession and recession period. Impact of the terms of the accession treaty. The Trajectories of Polish Immigrant Businesses in Scotland and the Role of Social Capital. Polska w Unii Europejskiej – Doświadczenia pierwszych miesięcy członkostwa, Warsaw: UKIE, Departament Analiz i Strategii. This was particularly the case for those with higher education: with mastery of the English language, talent emerged as natural skills and education came through. However, this perception stemmed mainly from a two-year long experience of unlimited access to the UK.5 Hence, a positive association of the benefits of movement became synonymous with the UK labour market. Finally, by the ‘right circumstances’ we mean the juncture of Poland’s accession to the EU with the decision taken by the UK government to grant immediate access to the British labour market. Second, the communist history of Poland is important for understanding contemporary migrations. In addition to official statistical sources, a multitude of qualitative surveys exists which form the basis of much of the research on Poland–UK movement, and we use the findings of the main ones here. Migrant workers willing to work for minimum (or less) wages allowed employers to avoid capital investment that would have increased productivity in, for example, food processing. The varied geography of the movement, affecting regions and communities not normally associated with immigration as well as the common honeypots like London, has made for a rich tapestry of analysis. Circumstances vary between sectors and by type of employer because of the nature of each organisation’s main activities. UKIE (Urząd Komitetu Integracji Europejskiej) (2003). Contrary to early expectations, only three countries of the EU15 agreed to free their labour market instantly; among them the UK was by far the largest. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe Scholar. http://www.crei.cat/conferences/Unemployment_in_Transition_Economies__De... http://www.cbos.pl/SPISKOM.POL/2006/K_180_06.PDF. Perceptions also shifted. Wymiar transatlantycki. After a brief review of available statistical sources, we attempt to assess the scale of movement as far as data allow. Thomas W. I., Znaniecki F. (1918). Munich. Moving out of the country, and especially moving past the bloc of neighbouring communist states, was difficult during the country’s years of communist rule (most people were not allowed to keep their passports at home, at this time, for instance) and after communism collapsed in 1989 many saw this as a new era, bringing new opportunities for mobility. Polish Circular Migration and Marginality: A Livelihood Strategy Approach, paper delivered at the conference titled ‘Młoda polska emigracja w UE jako przedmiot badań psychologicznych, socjologicznych i kulturowych EuroEmigranci’, Cracow, 23–24 October 2013. It also shows us how important modern technology has been to enable this migration. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Global Wage Report 2010/11. 7 According to a UN estimate, that proportion was to rise from 46.1 per cent in 1990 to 51.2 per cent in 2015, whereas the total population size was to remain stable (UN 2009). The series of surveys of Polish immigrants carried out in the UK consistently found that financial reasons, lack of opportunities in Poland and the desire for personal and professional development were key factors in decisions to migrate. As easily the largest labour market, the UK became the main target. Migrants Selectivity Index for selected characteristics by period of migrant departure and country of destination. Inflow and outflow data are available only from the International Passenger Survey which is based on stated intention at the time of entry and exit and defines an immigrant/emigrant as someone who intends to stay/leave for more than a year, having been out of/in the country for a similar period. Krings T. Moriarty E., Wickham J., Bobek A., Salamońska J. In these two groups as a whole, two-thirds of people had completed at least secondary education. MSI values are based on four variables: sex, age, education and type of residence prior to migration. (2013). Although the wage differentials diminished after Poland’s accession to the EU, Polish wages still lagged behind British ones. Garapich M. P., Foczpański T. (2004). Neither UK nor Polish data can provide a definitive figure. A survey in Britain among the UK citizens and members of the 25 most numerous immigrant nations revealed enormously high employment (rank 3–4) and low inactivity (rank 24–25) among Polish migrants, accompanied by very high workloads per week (rank 2) (IPPR 2007). Firstly, in the years preceding and following 2000 the working age population was growing fast, with the number of people entering retirement age declining and those entering working age increasing. Table 6. In many respects the movement between Poland and the UK followed a common pattern in Western Europe in the second half of the 20th century. The difference with respect to job availability did not change much in the next two to three years.8. A series of schemes was either expanded (Seasonal Agricultural Workers, Working Holiday Makers) or instituted (Sectors Based Scheme, Highly Skilled Manpower). The UK was also more successful than other destinations in attracting migrants from urban areas, although to a lesser extent in the crisis sub-period. Other factors. Kułakowski J. Początek końca ściany płaczu! The new arrivals were well educated, although it is not possible to establish how many were degree holders. United Kingdom (UK) after the 2004 enlargement of the European Union (EU). Kontrasty migracyjne Polski. Indeed, the complexity and diversity of underlying causes have been supported by a number of empirical studies, which point to a variety of motives and strategies followed by Polish post-accession migrants, both among those heading for a specific country (like the UK) or in a comparative international scope (Eade et al. The bulk of the new arrivals were economically active in employment (379,287, 81.4 per cent), 12.1 per cent were inactive and only 3.5 per cent were unemployed. Governing, Participating & Transforming in the 21st Century, pp. In particular, the prospects of having a job differed substantially. For many, migration had become less about getting a job, and more about finding a better overall life. The transport and communication industry hosted almost 10 per cent, but only small numbers were in agriculture (1.3 per cent) and public utilities (1.4 per cent). Year of arrival. Although particular episodes focused on hardships, inter-personal conflicts and even criminality, the series painted life in London as colourful and manageable for all, irrespective of their social background and past experience. Process operatives were again the most important, increasing from 29.7 to 36.4 per cent of the total. A great wave of Polish citizens migrating to the UK after Poland’s accession to the EU might be perceived as a paradox, at least when it comes to looking at its root causes in the home country. Britain, Sweden and Ireland allow Eastern Europeans immediate rights to … Dziennik Polski (London) 69: 11. Several things stand out about this migration. This is in contrast to the older cohorts (25–29 and 30–34) who tended to go to Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. Average monthly net wages in Poland and the UK vary by sector: in construction and hospitality, for example, the differential was threefold in one study (Cizkowicz, Holda, Sowa 2007). This surfeit of 20–24 year olds in particular reflects the attractiveness of the UK to Polish labour market entrants, as discussed below. Gener-ally, this area has not received attention amongst migration researchers focusing on the recent migration of Poles to the UK with the exception of work by Siara (2009, 2011) fo-cusing on negotiating gender in cyberspace by Polish women and men in the UK. By the turn of the century Polish businesses were already being set up in the UK, in low-income businesses such as window cleaning as well as more skilled trades (Anderson, Ruhs, Rogaly. Schneider C., Holman D. (2009). It appears that in anticipation of 2004, entry policy through the work permit system was already shifting towards lower skilled occupations, implying that job vacancies at that level were already manifest. Self-employment was especially common among immigrants from the newly accessed EU countries working in construction before 2004, accounting for 48 per cent of the total in the sector. Central and Eastern European Migration Review 1(1): 11–35. The Polish population in the UK is, therefore, relatively young reflecting the predominantly economic character of the post 2004 Polish immigration wave to the UK. Longitudinal Study of Migrant Workers in the East of England: Interim Report. 2. Cook J., Dwyer P., Waite L. (2011). Only after 2008 did the number of vacancies start to fall. Polacy poznają świat czyli o zagranicznych wyjazdach i znajomości języków obcych. ESRC Centre for Population Change Working Paper No. In a 2012 study of proficiency in English in more than 50 countries, Poland was given a ‘high knowledge’ mark (together with Austria, Belgium, Germany and Hungary), just behind a ‘very high knowledge’ which was attributed to four Scandinavian countries and the Netherlands (Gazeta.pl 2012). The Polish Peasant in Europe and America. Overall, the net increase in the stock of Britain-based temporary Polish migrants between 1 May 2004 and 31 December 2012 was between 573,000 and 588,000. 1918: Polish migration begins to tail off. Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Ethnologie, Geschichte, Kulturwissenschaften, Soziologie, Theater- und Filmwissenschaft; Englisch ; Drucken PDF Facebook … By 2011, 36.1 per cent of 25–29-year olds and 32.9 per cent of 30–34-year olds held a university degree. Since the 2004 enlargement of the European Union over half a million Polish migrants have registered to work in the United Kingdom, constituting one of the largest migration movements in contemporary Europe. Then, using UK and Polish census data we summarise the main characteristics of the Polish population in the UK and identify the degree of selectivity of those moving to the UK compared with those going to other countries. Dziennik Polski (London) 225: 11. As a pole who have migrated to the UK after 2004 I will say that on the whole, this book gives a fair account of the post-2004 polish migration. There was not only an aspiration to emigrate. Komunikat z badań, BS/148/2012. Pooling of resources was common, including the sharing of accommodation and finding jobs (Schneider, Holman 2009). (n.d.). With about 2.7 million nationals residing elsewhere in the European Economic Area, Poland was the second largest country of origin of all intra-European migrants in 2018. 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