The Polish community in the United Kingdom has become smaller with 100,000 people going back home over the last year. 14 October 2008. Thousands of English-speaking Poles, who came to the UK seeking a better life, board buses to Poland because the credit crunch in Britain proved so tough they can no longer support families at home. Salaries in Poland have rocketed in recent years and work is plentiful there.
Immigration Minister Phil Woolas has completed his first week in his new job vowing to get tough on immigration. Mr Woolas said: “It would appear an estimated 100,000 Polish workers have left Britain and returned home over the past year. Businesses need skilled workers to help them grow. We have to balance needs of the economy with managing population growth.”
Mr Woolas added: “Poland’s economy is expanding so I am not surprised they are going home. My job in Whitehall is to limit immigration, so this has helped.”
The statistics reveals that almost a quarter of the 450,000 Poles living in Britain are choosing to go back to their native country.
Home Office figures also show a 35 per cent drop in Poles arriving to work compared to last year —the lowest level since the expansion of Europe four years ago.
Freedom of movement within the European Union means there is no knowledge about the exact numbers of EU citizens in the UK, apart from those who have applied for a national insurance number.
Migration Watch chairman Sir Andrew Green warned more Brits would need to train up for construction trade jobs as the skilled Poles depart. He added: “With a recession on the horizon, that’s no bad thing.”
The Polish exodus could leave a gap to be filled most probably by British citizens, mobile workers from Romania and Bulgaria (new EU members), or immigrant workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA).