The PSZK gives several reasons for Poles' decision to look for work in the West, among them the poor prospects for good, stable work at home, and higher earnings abroad. Other factors include the greater perceived opportunities for personal development in foreign firms, as well as better, more relaxed working conditions.
Explaining the mood favoring mass youth emigration, PSZK Director Piotr Palikowski noted that the current generation of Poles who are leaving the country are able to "adapt well to new circumstances. Youth from Generation Y [born between 1984 and 1997, according to Rzeczpospolita] are more open to new challenges, are mobile, and well-oriented in foreign environments. Knowing their worth, they are not opposed to building a career abroad. They associate work abroad with good job prospects, higher salaries and the possibility for good all-round development."
The countries most cited by the PSZK survey for their perceived opportunities for employment and professional growth include Britain, Ireland and Germany.
Unfortunately, as news hub Kresy.pl laments, "these young people rarely have the opportunity to enrich our own economy with their talents. Our companies are unable to offer them what Western companies do."
In addition to the lack of innovation, almost a third of those surveyed by PSZK noted that Polish firms do not allow them to reconcile work with their private lives, Rzeczpospolita attributing this to Poland's business culture, with businesses setting "rigid working hours" and corporations "dominated by authoritarian vertical power structures and systems of management."
With the number of short-term emigrants falling in relation to those who plan to remain abroad for good, Polish media have noted with worry that these trends could have disastrous long-term effects for the country's economy.