‘Why do Polish nationals come to work in the UK?’, we asked Stan. ‘Because it is close, fairly easy to get here from Poland, and fairly low risk for many people to give living and working in England a try. There are still opportunities for work where you don’t need to speak much English. Through these sorts of jobs people can dip their toes in UK waters and decide whether they might like to live and work here.’ Stan tells us that his perception is that migration from Poland to the UK often happens relationally, through word of mouth and individual connections with people back home. ‘A typical situation’, says Stan, ‘is that someone from Poland is working on a construction site and a vacancy arises. A cousin in Poland is contacted and comes over.’
Stan is a Lecturer in Polish Studies at the University of Cambridge. Through Cambridge Polish Studies Stan organises many high profile events about Polish social and cultural life. The latest in this series will be a guest speaker event on 27 January at St John’s College. Leszek Balcerowicz - Former Polish Finance Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and President of the National Bank of Poland - will share his perspectives on the future of the Eurozone and on Poland's potential entry to the monetary union.