The authorities of the Pomeranian Voivodship announced the launch of programs for the assimilation of immigrants from Ukraine. It is reported by with links to Polish Radio.

55% of Ukrainians polled in the Pomeranian Voivodeship want to stay in the region, the most recent poll said. Regional authorities announced the implementation of programs for the assimilation of foreigners.

In 2017, over 120 000 applications were filed in Pomorie about the intention to hire Ukrainian citizens. In total, 123 thousand applications for short-term work were issued to foreigners last year. In comparison with 2016 this number has increased more than 2.5 times.

A workshop on labor market research was held last week in Gdansk. In 2017, the Voivodship Labor Office in Gdansk on behalf of the Pomeranian Voivodship Self-Government conducted a study on the growth of the shortage of workers and the interest of employers in the employment of foreigners, primarily Ukrainian citizens.

During the briefing Mečislav Struk, the Marshal of the Voivodeship did not conceal that the information obtained through the research would allow the immigrants from Ukraine to be encouraged to settle and work in the Pomeranian Voivodeship. He noted that in 2017 the region had 120 thousand vacancies. This is a problem reported by many entrepreneurs, he added.

Director of Voivodeship Labor Office in Gdansk Joanna Vitkovska informed that more than half of Ukrainians (55%), who work in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, want to stay in Pomorie very much. “Many people at once come with their families, many are hoping to “transfer” to Poland a family from Ukraine,” she said. “Ukrainians are glad to come to us, the choice of the Pomeranian Voivodeship is not accidental, they think that there is a good life, there are proposals for a good and highly paid work,” said Vitkovska.

Every 7th (13.7%) polled Ukrainian intends to come regularly to the Pomeranian Voivodeship. According to a study, 25% want to stay in the region only until the expiration date of the visa or the term of the temporary residence permit.

Marshal Mečislav Struk stressed that self-governing authorities in Pomerania are very important for assimilation of Ukrainians in the region. “In the context of demographic phenomena, fewer and fewer workers on the labor market, we need more skilled workers,” he explained. “We send such information to everyone, so that they worked on it, developed a friendly atmosphere for people who are looking for their way of life in Pomerania,” he explained.

The official noted that there are currently no programs for assimilating foreigners at the state level. Struk said that such programs should be developed at the regional level. He said that the authorities of the Pomeranian Voivodeship “has allocated funds from the voivodship budget to launch such programs.”

He said, according to the research, much remains to be done to adapt Ukrainians in the region. Mečislav Struk noted that, for example, the importance of work among Polish children over the acceptance of their peers who come to Pomerania, the adoption of circles in which they live, in order to avoid enclaves of Ukrainians, Belarusians. It is about the fact that these people, who are close to the Poles culturally, could assimilate in the local Pomeranian communities,” said the marshal.

According to him, more than 27% of polled Ukrainians work in Pomorie for more than three years. He acknowledged that self-governing authorities want this percentage to be even greater. “The rapid development of enterprises, increasing competitiveness, not only in the Polish market, but also foreign, is very important to us. And this requires workers,” he said.

Director Vitkovska emphasized that research among workers and residents of the Pomeranian Voivodship did not confirm the stereotype that foreigners take employment from the Poles. “The stereotype was not confirmed, because of foreigners’ lower salary,” she added.

Witkowski drew attention to the fact that there is a strong desire for integration among both Poles and Ukrainians. 92% of the questioned Ukrainians responded positively to the question of the need for integration with the Poles. “We must make sure that citizens of Ukraine and foreigners feel no worse than residents,” Vitkovska said.

A member of the Voivodeship Labor Office added that the main steps for assimilation could be: the organization of assistance in management through the provision of services in the Ukrainian language and the organization of studying the Polish language.