23rd January 2023

Employees from Ukraine want to learn Polish

Soon it will be a year since the start of the war in Ukraine. While during the first months of the conflict, refugees from Ukraine hoped to return home quickly, now many of them are starting to settle down in Poland. Almost 40% of temporary workers from Ukraine want to start learning the Polish language in the near future. This will allow them to improve their professional qualifications and open the way to better-paid jobs, but will also make it easier to visit a doctor or go to an interview at school.

According to data provided by the Social Insurance Institution, there are currently around 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine in Polish PESEL registers. As many as 46% of them are women at the age of professional activity, and about 40% are school-age children. More than half of these women are active on the Polish labour market. The group of those who did not take up employment included mainly mothers with children who had no one to entrust their care to.

The significant predominance of women in the labour market meant that they did not have many employment opportunities. Most often they took jobs below their education and qualifications. The main problem was the language barrier, as their poor knowledge of Polish made it difficult for them to find a job in line with their competences and thus better paid. According to the latest OTTO Work Force Central Europe report, currently as many as 38% of temporary workers from Ukraine plan to start learning Polish in the near future. Among the respondents, 40% indicated that they would even expect help from the Polish state in learning the language.

Tomasz Dudek:

"The war in Ukraine continues to prolong, and this means that many refugees are increasingly settling in Poland. Ukrainian children are attending Polish schools and kindergartens, and their parents are trying harder to fit into the Polish labour market and the expectations of companies. We observe a growing interest in learning the Polish language among our employees. Breaking the language barrier would allow many of them to take up more responsible and better-paid jobs, and thus to create better housing and living conditions for themselves in Poland. We can see that Ukrainian citizens are feeling more and more confident in Poland and some of them will want to stay in our country for longer"

Plans and expectations

The fact that Ukrainian citizens feel more and more comfortable in Poland is evidenced by their plans for the coming months. When asked about their near future, respondents most often answered that they want to wait in Poland and see how the situation in Ukraine develops – 43% of respondents. In turn, 38% of respondents plan to start learning the Polish language. 21% of respondents plan to find an independent flat and 20% want to bring their closest family to Poland. Respondents could indicate a maximum of 2 answers.

Refugees from Ukraine still expect assistance from the Polish state, but their needs have changed in recent months from the most basic ones to those that improving the quality of life in Poland. In the group of surveyed Ukrainian citizens, as many as 40% indicated that they would expect support from the Polish state in learning Polish language. In turn, 28% of respondents would gladly accept help in dealing with formalities and official matters, and 20% expect support in the form of social financial benefits.

The information obtained in the survey comes from 502 temporary workers from Ukraine, employed in Poland by OTTO Work Force companies. The survey was carried out in November 2022.

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Jolanta Jamioł‑Juszczak
Communication Manager

tel.: + 48 519 687 787
e-mail: [email protected]

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