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The impacts of migration on the population structure of the UK Case Study: Polish Migration

L.O. To identify the push and pull factors To analyse the impacts of migration

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 communiststyle 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 low-paid sectors  opportunity to learn English  an adventure  love and family

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

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?

Any questions?