Survey: Ukrainian refugees want to work in the EU. They are educated, are learning the language and have high professional qualifications

Survey: Ukrainian refugees want to work in the EU. They are educated, are learning the language and have high professional qualifications

WARSAW, Poland, Dec. 6, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — As many as 48% of Ukrainian refugees working in Germany and Poland intend to stay in those countries, namely for at least one year after the war has ended, according to the survey ‘Ukrainian refugees – vocational activation in Poland and Germany’ carried out by the EWL Migration Platform and the Centre for East European Studies at the University of Warsaw. The sociological study was conducted from 15 July to 25 July 2022. 800 Ukrainian citizens were surveyed who decided to come to Poland and Germany after 24 February 2022 and took up employment in those countries.

The report states that the average age of Ukrainian refugees working in Germany is 37 and in Poland 39, which indicates a high proportion of professionally formed people with experience and professional qualifications. More than half of the respondents have higher education, and nearly one in five respondents have experience of working abroad before the outbreak of war.

The study shows that 53% of refugees from Ukraine employed in Germany declare knowledge of English at least at a communicative level and among refugees employed in Poland knowledge of English is declared by one in three respondents. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents residing in Germany and Poland are learning the languages of countries of their current residence.

‘We are dealing with ambitious people, aspiring to work in better conditions, who want to take matters into their own hands, they just need the right tools and training to help them do so,’ says Michalina Sielewicz, International Development Director at the EWL Group

In addition, about one-fifth of the respondents in both countries admit that they are upgrading their professional qualifications through courses and training, and nearly 40% of respondents declare their intention to improve their skills in the future. According to the authors of the report, this demonstrates a high professional potential of refugees expressing their readiness to benefit from various forms of further professional development.

The report shows that after arriving in EU countries Ukrainian refugees have most often taken up employment in service-related professions, including hospitality and catering, the trade sector, as well as manual and technical jobs. Prior to the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, they most often worked as highly skilled professionals, services and trade sector employees, teachers, managers and executives.

It is worth adding that according to data from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, more than 70,000 Ukrainian citizens have been granted temporary protection in Lithuania. On the other hand, the Lithuanian Ministry of Social Security and Labour reported in September that more than 17,000 people, nearly half of Ukrainian refugees of working age, have taken up employment since the war began.


The Erasmus+ international adult education project #FLIGHT (Financial Literacy for Investment, Growth, Help and Teamwork) coordinated by VšĮ “Versli mama” is aimed at increasing the digital financial skills of women from Eastern Europe moving to the European economic space. The project is jointly implemented by Lithuanian, Polish, German, Danish and Norwegian organizations.

Photo associative ©Canva.