Integration in the labor market is a key element of a successful adaptation process. In the presented article, we provide a comprehensive overview of initiatives and programs aimed at Ukrainian refugees seeking integration with the Polish market. We discuss the support that the Polish state provides in terms of employment search and career development. As you read on, you will learn about specific programs, targeted both at individuals in the job search phase and those considering starting their own business in Poland.
Public support in the field of employment and professional development
Citizens of Ukraine legally residing in Poland have the right to take up employment without the need to obtain additional permits. In searching for employment, you can report to the district or provincial labor offices. To use the assistance of these institutions, you must personally go to the employment office or register online at the portal www.praca.gov.pl . You will need a valid identity document.
Individuals reporting to the office can register as unemployed or as job seekers looking for work other than their previous employment. Registered individuals are assigned an advisor who determines the possibilities for assistance and establishes an Individual Action Plan. The offices also maintain a job offer database and provide career counseling.
The employment office can offer the client not only employment opportunities but also professional training, Polish language courses, or financing the costs of the recognition of foreign qualifications process.
Initiatives supporting professional activation
From the 1st to the 31st of October, the Marshal’s Office of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship oversees the implementation of the project “Your chance for a good job: professional activation of immigrants over 30 years of age without employment”. The initiative is intended for Ukrainian residents of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship, who are over 30 years old and not employed anywhere. A condition for participation is having a PESEL number and a document confirming a permanent address in the Lower Silesian Voivodeship. As part of the program, participants can count on:
- career counseling and customization of an Individual Action Plan,
- assistance in job searching,
- workshops aimed at activation and teaching effective job search strategies,
- computer courses for some participants,
- vocational courses enabling the acquisition of professional qualifications,
- three-month paid professional internships for the intern.
The Kobe Foundation is responsible for the implementation of this initiative in Wroclaw (information in Polish and Ukrainian available here). Przy załatwianiu formalności i w trakcie szkoleń można liczyć na pomoc tłumacza. Więcej informacji można uzyskać również w biurze projektu przy ul. R. Dmowskiego 17F/7 oraz mailowo (email@example.com) lub telefonicznie pod numerem 71 799 99 73.
Organizations from other localities within the voivodeship also participate in the program. In Świdnica, information on this subject can be found on the websites of the Municipal Social Assistance Center and the Edukacja Pro Foundation.
WARSAW OR ONLINE
The Youth Business Polandinitiative, in cooperation with the Ukrainian House, launched the BEST (Business Employability Skill Training) program in June 2022. The project focuses on developing entrepreneurship and preparing participants for professional work. The aim of BEST is to support job seekers and those who plan to develop their own business in Poland. To join the program, send an application describing your experience and your needs as a candidate. The application form is available here. The assistance that participants can receive includes:
- professional mentoring and psychological support,
- consultations at the Ukrainian House points online and by phone,
- participation in networking events and webinars,
- consultations with career advisors,
- advice on starting and building a company in Poland.
The foundation’s headquarters is located at 93 Jerozolimskie Avenue in Warsaw.
In the heart of Warsaw at Targowa Street 56, the innovative workshop FabLab operates. The workshop was created through the collaboration of the Orange Foundation and the Robisz.to Association. It is equipped with specialized equipment: 3D printers, laser plotters, CNC milling machines, and electronics.
The workshop conducts the Maker Woman project. It is an initiative aimed at women who want to acquire new technical and digital skills, thereby increasing their chances for professional development. Some classes are specially prepared for ladies from Ukraine. Here are some example courses:
- On October 20, 2023, there will be workshops on computer-controlled embroidery. The classes will last 4 hours. Participants will learn how to design graphics and embroider them. More details here.
- From October 28 to 29, 2023, workshops on operating a laser plotter, often used in handicrafts, advertising, and design, will be conducted. More details here.
- In 2024, another edition of the four-month courses in spatial design and 3D printing, as well as vector design and CNC machine operation, is set to begin. The courses consist of 32 hours of classes, during which participants will learn the basics of working with a specific technology. Information can be followed on the Maker Woman project page.
Until October 11, 2023, the Stella Virium Foundation is recruiting for the next edition of the free webinars Career Boost. The initiative is conducted in cooperation with UBS. The classes in English and Polish are aimed at people who have lost their job or have been forced to change their employment. During the webinars, experts from UBS will share their knowledge. The project includes:
- a two-part practical webinar (2 × 4h) from 9.00 am to 2.00 pm,
- 3 individual online meetings with a mentor,
- simulated job interviews: an individual mock job interview (based on the submitted CV and job offer) along with feedback.
Participants who take part in all modules will receive a certificate confirming their participation in the project. You can contact the foundation via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and by phone: (+48) 509 206 033.
Support for refugees planning to develop a company in Poland
AVSI Poland has launched a training program for 100 refugees from Ukraine who want to start their own business. The project W.A.G.E.E.S (Work and gain education & employment skills) is scheduled to run until the end of 2023 and includes:
- training in soft skills and an intensive Polish language course, facilitating integration both at work and in social life;
- employment in local companies that guarantee a contract for a minimum of 3 months, as well as technical training related to specific duties in the new workplace;
- psychosocial support for women and support in childcare for 50 children during the course;
- financial support covering childcare costs, household maintenance, and commuting costs to the new workplace.
Participants are required to have a basic knowledge of Polish, previous professional experience, and availability to relocate. Future entrepreneurs who present the best business plans at the end of the training may receive a grant from AVSI Poland for the first months of operation. The link to the registration form is available here. Information can also be obtained by writing to: email@example.com or calling the number 22 586 33 00. The foundation is located in Warsaw at Flory Street 9/2.
The AVSI Polska Association is a member of the international AVSI network (Association of Volunteers in International Service). The organization operates in the field of social assistance, education, and improving people’s situations through the promotion of small entrepreneurship.
WARSAW, AND ONLINE
Business Centrum for Ukraine is an initiative of the Totalizator Sportowy Foundation and the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers, aimed at assisting Ukrainian companies and entrepreneurs in conducting business in Poland. The center provides free advisory services for already operating companies, as well as for those planning to start a business in Poland. At the center, one can obtain, among other things:
- advice on starting and running a company,
- support in finding the right location for investments,
- establishing relationships with investors and potential partners,
- support in obtaining financial support, including grants and tax exemptions.
The center also has a small coworking space available in Warsaw for people from Ukraine and organizes informational webinars on conducting business activities in Poland. The headquarters is located in Warsaw at Krzysztofa Kamila Baczyńskiego Street 1, apt. 2. You can obtain more information by calling the phone number: +48 22 826 08 31 or by sending a message to the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Podkarpacki Inkubator Wspierania Ukraińskich Inicjatyw[The Subcarpathian Incubator for Supporting Ukrainian Initiatives] (Podkarpackie_Incubator4UA) was created for individuals from Ukraine who want to start their own company. The incubator primarily offers substantive help: individual entrepreneurship counseling. There is also office space equipped with the necessary equipment and a children’s corner in the center of Rzeszów. Future entrepreneurs can count on the following support:
- workshops on establishing and running a business and social enterprise;
- visits to already operating enterprises, allowing a better understanding of their functioning;
- individual counseling for people from Ukraine according to their needs in the field of entrepreneurship: legal, language, and psychological assistance.
The incubator has also published an accessible guidebook (available here) explaining the basic principles of running a business in Poland.
The initiative is led by the Rzeszow Regional Development Agency. The project is financed as part of the Cross-border Cooperation Program Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2014–2020. The incubator is located at the headquarters of the Rzeszow Regional Development Agency at Szopena Street 51 in Rzeszow.
If you are interested in developing your own business, you might also be interested in the Distributed Incubator for companies from Ukraine. It was established thanks to an agreement between public institutions and private companies, mainly operating in the Subcarpathian region. The program is coordinated by the Rzeszow Regional Development Agency. The form and scope of support for entrepreneurs applying to the Distributed Incubator are tailored to each individual case. The project includes the following assistance:
- provision of office or production-service infrastructure for transferring and continuing business activities from Ukraine to Poland or starting new business ventures;
- access to Virtual Office services, coworking spaces;
- provision of greenfield investment sites for economic development;
- access to training and consulting;
- visits to operating companies that help understand their functioning;
- assistance in obtaining financing.
Individuals interested in utilizing the assistance of the Distributed Incubator can contact the Rzeszow Regional Development Agency (RARR) by email at email@example.com or by phone: 17 77 36 853 and 17 85 20 610.