Poland facing shortage of skilled workers?
PR dla Zagranicy
Although the unemployment rate remains high, fears have been raised that Poland’s education system is failing to produce enough skilled workers, including mechanics, plumbers and dressmakers.
Piotr Ambrozowicz, OTTO’s CEO for Central and Eastern Europe, has blamed the increasing focus on university higher education for shifting attention away from vocational schools.
According to Eurostat, the percentage of Poles aged 30-34 with higher education qualifications has almost tripled between 2002 and the end of 2013, from 14.4 percent to 40.5 percent.
Ambrozowicz explained that “at the moment we have many people who have completed higher education, we are definitely among the top European countries on this criterion.”
“However, there is no economy in the world which would be able to employ so many [post-higher education] workers,” he underlined.
“This situation has resulted in many people ending up working in positions which do not correspond to their education and aspirations. This affects their motivation and interest. A large proportion of them therefore seek job opportunities abroad, which they see as an opportunity to develop [their careers].”
Ambrozowicz listed examples of professions facing a shortage of skilled technical workers including “welders, mechanics, plumbers or dressmakers.”
There are some ongoing efforts to reverse the decline in vocational education. This academic year has been declared the ‘Year of vocational schools’ by the Ministry of Education, with several policies in place to promote this type of education such as financial aid for students. (sl/jb)