Poland faces huge construction skills shortage as it bids for World Expo Fair and prepares to deliver Euro 2012 stadiums

Poland is facing a huge skills shortage for large scale building projects, according to the country’s deputy arts minister.

Krzysztof Olendzki said the country is lacking specialist workers because so many workers emigrate to Britain.

Polish construction workers
Andrei Krakowski and Adam Szaba work for ROK in the UK

Poland is bidding to host the 2012 World Expo Fair but Olendzki said 100,000 skilled workers would be needed if the bid is to be successful. It is also co-hosting Euro 2012 with Ukraine and workers are needed to build stadiums and roads for the championship.

The mayor of Wroclaw, the town bidding to host the Expo Fair, has launched a “Come Home” campaign for builders and specialists in Europe.

The average wage in Wroclaw is £8000, but Olendzki said the pay differential was nothing compared to the benefits of coming home.

He said: “It makes a big difference to work in your own country. You can understand people’s jokes in the pub, instead of being a stranger. You may only earn £700 for a job instead of £1,000 but you can stay close to your family and your children in school.”

More than 500,000 Poles are estimated to have come to Britain to find work since the country became a member of the EU in 2004.