Geofile on polish migration to the EU

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Geo file 550
Neil Punnett
Migration case study: Poland to the
Introduction Figure 1: The A8 Nations which joined the EU in April 2004
On 1 April 2004 Poland was one of
ten nations joining the European
Union. Eight of these countries
(known as the A8 by the EU) were
Eastern European nations (Figure
1), the other two the Mediterranean
island states of Malta and Cyprus.
The EU allows free movement of
labour between its member
countries. An increase in migration
into the EU's more prosperous
nations was anticipated following Estonia
the accession of the A8 nations, most
of which had higher unemployment Latvia
rates and lower standards of living.
The UK government predicted there
would be 15,000 migrants from the
A8 countries moving to the UK for Poland
Czech Republic
Migration from Poland Slovakia
Nationals from A8 countries who Slovenia Hungary
wish to work in the UK for over one
month are generally required to
register with the Home Office's
Worker Registration Scheme (WRS).
Rather than the 15,000 predicted, by
July 2006 447,000 people from
Eastern Europe had applied to work
in the UK (Figure 2). 62% (264,555)
came from Poland. An additional
105,000 moved between July and
December 2006, taking the total of estimated 64,000 more A8 citizens
GeoFile SeriesFigure
26 Issue 2: 1
Applications to the UK's
Polish migrant workers to 370,000 migrated into the UK for Figat least a
550_01 Mac/eps/illustrator 11 s/s
Worker Registration Scheme from the
since April 2004. An additional NELSON THORNES PUBLISHING
year than left in 2005, compared A8 nations
150,000 people from the A8 nations Artist: David Russell Illustration
with 49,000 in 2004. In 2005 16,000
migrated to the UK as self-employed A8 citizens left the UK, in 2004 only Czech Rep.
workers, such as builders and 3,000.
plumbers, who do not need to
register with the WRS. The Polish
Embassy stated that the number of
Reasons for the migration
Polish workers in Britain was Why are Poles coming to the UK in
between 500,000 and 600,000. This such numbers? There are a number
would mean that Poles are now the of `push' factors encouraging Poles
third-largest minority ethnic group to leave their own country, and a
in the UK, after Pakistanis and number of `pull' factors attracting
Indians. them to the UK. Whilst the desire to
experience life abroad and to learn
More Polish long-term migrants or improve their spoken English are
came into the UK in 2005 than factors, the fundamental reason is Slovakia
citizens of any other country. 49,000 the contrast in the two nations'
migrated into the UK in 2005, economies: Slovenia
almost three times the total of 17,000
in 2004. The proportion of Poles · In Poland the unemployment
rate averaged 18.2% in 2005, the
within the A8 group migrating into
the UK for at least a year increased highest unemployment rate in Number of applicants
from about 35 per cent in 2004 to the 27 nations of the OECD, with
over 70 per cent in 2005. Overall, an some rural areas having Source: Home Office
GeoFile Series 26 Issue 1
Geofile Online © Nelson Thornes 2007 Fig 550_02 Mac/eps/illustrator 11 s/s
Artist: David Russell Illustration

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September 2007 no.550 Migration case study: Poland to the UK
unemployment rates of over 40%. Table 1: Leading occupations in which registered workers were employed (June
Young Poles, even with a high 2004­June 2006)
level of education, faced a youth
unemployment rate of over 40%. Occupation Total
· The UK's unemployment rate is Factory worker 95,865
only 5.…read more

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September 2007 no.550 Migration case study: Poland to the UK
Figure 4: Airports in Poland with manufacturing (33%), agriculture Airport's international passenger
scheduled low-cost flights to the UK and and fisheries (25%) and distribution, numbers increased from 138,000 in
airports in the UK with scheduled low- hotel and retail (20%). Whilst 2000 to 960,000 in 2006.…read more

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September 2007 no.550 Migration case study: Poland to the UK
shortcomings in the UK workforce. intend to stay permanently in this Jane Hardy and Nick Clark, `EU
Labour MP Frank Field pointed country ­ indications are that most Enlargement, Workers and
out that school leavers and intend to return home, and many Migration Implications for Trade
university students seeking have already done so.…read more


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