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Refugees from Ukraine – vocational activation in Poland and Germany (10.2022)
Poland has achieved unprecedented success in vocational activation of Ukrainian citizens. Since the outbreak of the war, more than 430 thousand refugees, i.e. approx. 2/3 of the working-age refugees, have found employment. So far, no country in history has ever managed to provide employment for such a number of refugees. The average age of refugees working in Poland and Germany is 39 and 37 years old respectively. This indicates a high share of professionally formed people, often with higher education, unique experience and qualifications. More than half of the refugees in Poland (53%) and Germany (55%) do not speak the language of the respective country or know it poorly. Good or very good knowledge of the language is confirmed by only 13% of refugees working in Poland and 18% in Germany. This is particularly important from the perspective of vocational activation of refugees from Ukraine, which requires the introduction of language courses to improve the language competences of those willing to work. An important advantage of Poland is the elimination of the language barrier by employing Ukrainians who speak Polish in leadership positions. They are a guarantee of efficient induction of foreigners who do not yet speak Polish and of effective communication between them and the Polish employers. The study showed that 68% of refugees in Polish workplaces are able to communicate in Ukrainian. In Germany this percentage is four times lower. Half of Ukrainian refugees residing in Poland declare that they received assistance from the employer in finding accommodation. In Germany, such assistance was given to 36% of Ukrainian citizens. It is worth noting that in Poland the provision of accommodation is traditionally in the interest of the employer and is often the employer’s responsibility. Average monthly earnings in Germany are almost three times higher than in Poland. The biggest difference in earnings concerns administrative and office work and the logistics and transport sector. On the other hand, the smallest disproportions in remuneration are visible in the trade and services sector. Approximately 1/5 of respondents in both countries admit to upgrading their professional qualifications through courses and training. Nearly 40% of respondents in Poland and Germany declare the intention to increase their level of skills in the future, which indicates a high professional potential of the refugees who express the readiness to take advantage of various forms of professional development. More than 80% of refugees working in Poland are already learning Polish or are planning to do so. It is just over 60% among the refugees working in Germany.