Filipino skilled workers needed in Poland, says consul
CEBU CITY — Filipino skilled workers are in demand in Poland, which is reeling from a lack of workforce due to aging population and the war in Ukraine.
Polish Vice Consul Tomasz Danel said there is a demand for construction workers, welders, pipe fitters, and drivers in Poland, and the jobs are growing each year.
Danel was in Cebu on Thursday, June 1, to grace the opening of its first visa application center outside of the Polish Embassy in Manila.
The development will make it easier for those in the Visayas and Mindanao to apply for a visa going to the European country.
“We see the growing number of applicants for work. Poland is becoming more and more popular among Filipinos as a destination for work and the number is growing every year,” Danel said.
“Last year, the government issued over 2,000 work permits which is an increase of almost 100 percent compared to the previous years,” he added.
In the first five months of 2023, Danel said they were seeing more applications for work permits from Filipinos.
“We see the highest number of skilled workers like construction workers, welders, pipe fitters, and drivers. They are really needed in Poland and in Europe. We are seeing the growing numbers of those applications,” he said.
One problem, however, is the language barrier since English is not widely spoken in Poland. Danel said they are conducting training for workers to solve this problem.
He said the Polish embassy would soon look into the possibility of hiring healthcare workers but this needs more time as it requires government-to-government agreement.
“For now we have a shortage of jobs in Poland due to the aging population as well as the war in Ukraine. We used to have many Ukrainians working in Poland because it is easy for them to cross the border for work. Now they have to return back home so there are a lot of vacancies right now,” Danel explained.
About 15,000 to 20,000 Filipino workers are in Poland at present.
Meanwhile, Polish nationals are also expected to flock to Cebu and Bohol as tourists in the coming months.
Danel said most of the tourists from Poland are interested in visiting the beaches and diving.
Polish tourists are often long-staying travelers, which book accommodations for up to two weeks.