Poland is one of the A8 countries that has been allowed free migration of EU countries in the Schengen Agreement in 1995. The agreement allowed free trade between conntries and encouraged countries of lower income to migrate to more prosperous countries in the EU. 447,000 people from Eastern Europe applied to work in the UK from July 2006.
Push and pull factors
- High unemployment- the unemployment rate in Poland averaged 18.5% in 2005- the highest umemployment rate of the 25 nations in the OECD.
- Low wages- Poland's annual GDP per head in 2006 was around $12,700, compared to $30,900 in the UK
- There are lots more job opportunities in the UK as there is a skill shortage and a higher demand for unskilled/semi-skilled labour.
- Unemployment in the UK is only 5.1%.
- The wages are higher: Poland's average GDP is £12,700 whereas the UK's GDP on average is around £30,900.
The UK along with Sweden and Ireland are the only conuntries that have allowed the A8 countries completely unlimited migration.
Characteristics of Polish migrants
The largest subgroup of Polish migrants are…