Employees are key to success – conclusions of the JLL’s 'Made in Poland' report, prepared in cooperation with the Polish Investment and Trade Agency, Hays and ALTO

One of the most important challenges for investors is to understand the dynamics of the labour market, which is now a candidate’s market. According to the JLL report 'Made in Poland', a comprehensive guide for investors - manufacturing companies that are considering setting up operations in Poland, as well as those that are already present and developing their business in our country, consider building a strong workforce as the first step to achieving their expected business objectives. Appropriate selection of plant’s location plays a very important role in this process as well.

  • Poland is an attractive market for foreign investors. Although for many years the Polish market was perceived primarily as a source of relatively cheap labour, its main asset is currently the high quality of its employees' knowledge and experience in technologically advanced production processes, as exemplified by the increasingly frequent practice of creating positions that cover not only the CEE region, but also have a global reach.
  • The Polish education system is listening to the needs of the market and increasing the number of technical and vocational school graduates with the desired skills. Technical studies are becoming increasingly popular in Poland, thanks to awareness campaigns for future students and government programmes promoting STEM education. In the 2019/20 academic year, more than 304,000 people studied subjects related to the needs of the manufacturing, research and development sectors. In 2020, more than 75,000 graduated with a technical degree, including 27,000 in Engineering and 7,000 in Manufacturing and Processing.
  • Despite rising labour costs, Poland remains a market that offers high-quality work at a reasonable price. Salaries do increase when specialists with niche skills are sought or when relocation is required. When assessing the cost of employment, the differences between average salaries in Poland depend on the development of the region, as well as the type of industry located in the area.
  • When investors analyse the potential of individual locations in Poland, they pay particular attention to the availability of the existing talent pool and whether there are plants with similar processes or products in the area. Development potential is also an important factor as investors want to know whether it would be possible to expand operations in a given location by tens or even hundreds of jobs.
  • The increasing automation and robotisation of production processes is redefining the skills required in manufacturing plants. The development of robotics, therefore, is generating a new need - access to workers with advanced technological skills in the immediate vicinity of the plant.
  • In addition to recruitment challenges, companies in the manufacturing sector see high staff turnover, increasing wage pressure, as well as rising employee expectations, which, according to employers, do not always match the quality of work. From an organisational perspective, another challenge is market uncertainty, which significantly influences the decisions of contractors, as well as the need to optimise and automate production processes, which requires a major financial outlay.

Link to report: jll.pl/en/trends-and-insights/research/made-in-poland