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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Polish city lures back migrants
Wroclaw
The campaign to promote Wroclaw was launched last autumn
Officials in the Polish city of Wroclaw are stepping up a campaign to lure back Poles who have gone to the UK to work.

They plan to visit Britain to persuade Polish migrants that there are more job opportunities in the south-western city since Poland joined the EU in 2004.

Polish authorities are worried that the country has been experiencing a brain drain for the last two years.

It is estimated that between one and three million people have left Poland for western Europe in that time.

'Easily employed'

Wroclaw city officials say they are planning a trip to London in coming months to visit bars and pubs popular with the Polish community.

The campaign to promote the historic city Wroclaw as a place to start a career was launched in the media last autumn.

If they do a little calculation, it may turn out that it's worth coming back to Poland, and to Wroclaw
Pawel Panczy
Wroclaw official

Although unemployment in Poland is more than 16%, there are labour shortages in some sectors of the economy - in services, the building industry and information technology.

Wroclaw local officials are particularly worried that their city, which is in the more prosperous part of the country, will lose out on investment due to the dwindling educated labour force.

"Especially in the summer season we are quite short of construction workers but we are also looking for IT specialists," Pawel Panczy, from the Wroclaw development agency, told the BBC's World Today programme.

"We have a large number of companies offering jobs for IT specialists. I think that those people would be easily employed if they come back to Poland."

Mr Panczy added that Hewlett Packard, which invested in the city almost a year and a half ago, was employing almost 600 people while Siemens had hired 700 people in the last year alone.

Poles can make from four to 10 times more money in Britain than in Poland - even in low-paid jobs.

But Mr Panczy pointed out that other factors had to be taken into consideration.

"You have to remember that the costs of living in London are four times higher than those in Poland."

"So if they do a little calculation, it may come out that it's worth coming back to Poland, and to Wroclaw," Mr Panczy said.


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