Work in Poland
Considering living in one of the world’s most historic countries? You could do with a job, then. Find out everything you need to know about working in Poland…
Job market in Poland
Poland is one of the few countries in the European Union (EU) that has been able to increase its gross domestic product (GDP) in the midst of the global economic downturn, seeing a cumulative growth of nearly 16% between 2008 and 2011.
The majority of the country’s workforce is in the services sector, while around 30% are in industry, working in automotive manufacturing, chemicals and food processing, among other sectors. Approximately 16% of the workforce is employed in agriculture.
The number of foreign people working in Poland has increased steadily since 2010, mostly in the agriculture, construction, retail and wholesale trade sectors (OECD, 2012).
Youth unemployment is a big problem in the country, but there are opportunities available for people with highly sought-after language or IT skills in industries such as telecommunications, computer science and logistics.
Other areas of recent growth include education, banking and finance, business services, tourism and management.
Search for jobs in Poland at:
• EURES – Jobs in Poland
• Eurojobs.com – Poland
In addition, numerous Polish newspapers contain comprehensive job vacancy sections, including:
• Gazeta Praca
• Warsaw Voice (in English)
• Zycie Warszawy
Work experience and internships in Poland
As the job market is competitive and youth employment is relatively high, work experience could give your CV the boost it needs to help you stand out from the crowd.
Internships and summer work placements for students can also be arranged by:
• AIESEC UK – for students and recent graduates;
• IAESTE UK – for science, engineering and applied arts students.
Many international companies based in the country, such as Poznan Volkswagen, GlaxoSmithKline Poland, Nordea Bank Polska, Toyota Polska, ING Bank Slaski and CitiGroup Polska, may offer internships, so check out their individual websites.
Volunteering in Poland
Another way to improve your employability in the eyes of prospective employers is to spend time volunteering in Poland.
The European Voluntary Service (EVS) is a programme, funded by the European Commission, that gives 18 to 30-year-olds the chance to volunteer for up to 12 months in a number of European and non-European countries.
Opportunities vary from placements concerned with sport and culture to others focused on social care and the environment. Travel, accommodation, food and insurance are covered by a European grant for successful applicants, who also get given a personal allowance each month.
Another organisation that may have volunteering opportunities available is Volunteers for Peace. For more information, visit Volunteers for Peace – Volunteer Europe .
You may also be able to arrange to volunteer by sending speculative applications to organisations in the sector in which you wish to work.
Make sure you thoroughly research all volunteering opportunities available and always check the terms and conditions before committing yourself to a scheme.
Polish is spoken by the vast majority of the population, so proficiency may well be a pre-requisite for many jobs. However, English is spoken among some academic, business and professional communities, as well as the younger generation, and some employers may prioritise your skills over your knowledge of Polish.
Polish visas and immigration
According to the European Commission, EU citizens have the right to:
• move to another EU country to work without a work permit;
• enjoy equal treatment with nationals in access to employment, working conditions and all other social and tax advantages;
• stay in the country even after employment has finished.
If, however, you intend to stay in Poland for longer than three months and work, you will require a temporary residence permit (Karta Pobytu), which is valid for up to two years.
For more information and to check what conditions and restrictions apply, see:
• European Commission – Free Movement EU Nationals
• Europa – Work-Related Rights
• Europa – Workers and Pensioners
EU nationals may also be able to transfer certain types of health and social security coverage to their host country.
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