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Migration within the EU – Poland to UK

Learning Objectives:

1. To recap what a push factor and a pull factor is
2. To analyse the advantages and disadvantages of migration for the UK and Poland

577000 people migrated to the UK in 2007 while 340000 people emigrated from the UK, according to the Office for National Statistics. This means that the UK's population grew by 237000 people in that year.
Immigrant = Someone entering a new country with the intention of living there Emigrant = Someone leaving their country of residence to move to another country

Of these the highest number from a single country was Poland with 96000 migrants to the UK.

A bit of history...

Economic Migration within the EU
• long history of migration in early C20th
– e.g. 400,000 Eastern Europeans arriving in UK between 1947 and 1951

• seasonal workers, self-employed and refugees in 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s
– e.g. 100,000 each year in seasonal agricultural work

• but all changed when 8 East European countries joined the European Union on 1st May 2004, and a further 2 on 1st Jan 2007

• 2004: Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia • 2007: Romania and Bulgaria

Eastern Europe
• until 1989 (and the fall of the Berlin Wall), Eastern Europe was allied to the Soviet Union and had a communist-style economy • no capitalism, no market, no freedom to set up businesses or import/export etc. • one political party, no democracy • the state planned (almost) all economic activity • but relatively high levels of education and welfare

After 1989
• create market economies (foreign investment, small business, trade, private sector) • build democracy (political parties, independent parliaments etc.) • connect to globalising world • rejoin Europe (EU)

So, who’s arrived?
• since 2004, approx 1.5 million migrants from Eastern Europe • about 2/3rds are Poles • 70% are aged between 18 and 35 • most are well-educated and highly-skilled • most stay for less than 12 months
• and about 700,000 remain…

What sort of jobs are they doing?

Why do they come to UK?
PUSH • high unemployment (e.g. 18% in Poland in 2006) • relatively low wages (average about £4000 a year in Poland in 2006) • rapidly rising house prices • freedom to travel • unpopular politicians and conservative politics PULL • demand for jobs • higher wages, even in lowpaid sectors • opportunity to learn English • an adventure • love and family

Why do they come to UK?
Read the various quotes and statements on your handout. Do you think they’re push or pull factors? Remember to justify your answers...

Now, can you categorise them...?

Impacts – Positive and Negative?
In the UK • doing jobs UK workers don’t want to do (picking, packaging, cleaning, carework etc.) • keeping ‘labour intensive’ industries profitable (e.g. agriculture) • consumption: the ‘Polish pound’ (£8.4 billion in 2008) • Polish shops and Polish brands in Tesco, Asda etc. • new cultures (music, art, literature etc.) • competition for jobs • demand for school places, healthcare etc. • BUT NOT benefits!

Impacts – Positive and Negative?
In Poland • ‘brain drain’ – loss of skilled, educated workers (in industry, in hospitals etc.) • family struggles: one parent or whole family migrates • remittances – workers sending money home to their families to invest in housing, businesses or everyday life • new skills, experiences and languages – and new connections to the rest of Europe

A Simple Summary...
Based on what you’ve heard draw a table on paper:
UK Advantages Poland Advantages UK Disadvantages Poland Disadvantages

Write down what advantages and disadvantages you think there are for the destination and country of origin. Again, categorise them into suitable categories...

Advantages for UK and British people
- Migrants bring labour and skills - Cheaper workforce

- Greater cultural experience eg new foods and ideas
Advantages for Poland and Polish people - Some can earn more money in UK - Money can be sent home to support relatives and improve their standard of living - Improving spoken English can help them get a better job at home

Disadvantages for UK and British people - Schools have to try to provide extra support for nonEnglish speaking children

- Unemployment for some people as Polish people often work for less money
- Tensions between some members of the community (often due to misunderstanding)

Disadvantages for Poland and Polish people
- Some family members left behind - Children find school hard if they can’t speak English and have to make new friends - Sometimes Polish workers can be badly treated eg paid below minimum wage - Skilled people in Poland will be missed! Eg dentists

Are they going home?
• many only planned to stay for a few months to earn some extra money and get a bit of experience • many are coming and going, working for a few months in the UK, but maintaining their lives in Poland • but many are now settling down with their families in the UK

And the Polish government is trying to attract them home…

So, the UK and Poland are increasingly connected…
• jobs and investment • travel networks (cheap airlines, coach routes etc.) • families and friendships • cultures and identities • who knows what will happen next with UK migration?
» Read this and decide...