Maciek Bator, a Political Science Graduate, said to the Guardian that \”I know lots of Poles who went back to Poland in the past few years, only to come back last year. Previously people were supposed to register for the Worker Registration Scheme (WRS) however a lot of people never bothered registering because they either didn\’t realise they had to, or they thought it wasn\’t worth the £90 fee. The problem was that when they lost their jobs, they were not able to claim any unemployment benefits and were stuck. However when they got back home they realised that Poland was not booming as they had expected.”
“In Northern Ireland, most of the Poles here came from the east of Poland, which is poor. There are a lot from a town called Radom, for example, and also from Lublin, near the border with Ukraine. Wages there are very low. Even a poorly paid job in the UK is a lot better than you can still get there: £1,200 might be a low salary in Northern Ireland, but it still means that you can have one or two holidays a year, maybe a city break. In Poland, even if things are cheaper there, you cannot have the same quality of life that people have got used to here.\”
Professor Krystyna Iglicka, of the Centre of International Relations, explained that \”It\’s a well-known migratory pattern that after the first wave of migration, where generally young people come to seek work, there is a second wave when their families come to join them. That\’s what we saw in 1973, particularly in Germany, when the Gastarbeiter were expected to go home during that financial crisis but the opposite happened: those who weathered the storm wanted to stay and their families followed them. Plus, of course, young people grow up and have babies – of the 130,000 Polish children registered in the UK in 2009, 60,000 had been born in England and Wales.\”
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