Kyiv Post Legal Quarterly - - News -

To­day, be­tween three and six mil­lion Ukraini­ans work abroad, ac­cord­ing to Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Pavel Rozenko. Re­search by Kyiv In­ter­na­tional In­sti­tute of So­ci­ol­ogy shows that of those who plan to work in the Euro­pean Union over the next six months, 35.6 per­cent will choose Poland, 12.5 per­cent will head to the Czech Repub­lic, and 10.6 per­cent to Ger­many. Rus­sia, which at one time led the pack in terms of Ukrainian la­bor mi­grants un­til 2014, has moved down to fourth place, with 7.1 per­cent con­sid­er­ing a move east­ward.

In the EU, avail­able work for Ukraini­ans is based on man­ual la­bor, where the largest num­ber of va­can­cies can be found in in­dus­try (food en­ter­prises, chem­i­cal, cosmetics, etc.), as well as agri­cul­ture and con­struc­tion. Poverty re­mains the trig­ger of la­bor mi­gra­tion from Ukraine, as, since Jan. 1, 2018, the min­i­mum wage in Poland be­fore taxes was set at PLN 2,100 PLN ( Hr 14,800). By the end of 20162017, Ukraini­ans in Poland were earn­ing an av­er­age of PLN 1,826 PLN ( Hr 12,930) to PLN 2,800 ( Hr 19,830), de­pend­ing on their qual­i­fi­ca­tions. The av­er­age salary in Ukraine in April 2018 was only Hr 8,480. To ex­plain the con­stant out­flow of la­bor from Ukraine to the EU us­ing poverty alone is a very dan­ger­ous delu­sion, how­ever, and here’s why.

Both Poland and the Czech Repub­lic are pur­su­ing a pur­pose­ful pol­icy to at­tract qual­i­fied Ukrainian la­bor re­sources. Ac­cord­ing to the Per­son­nel Ser­vice Sur­vey, 24 per­cent of Pol­ish em­ploy­ers are will­ing to pay Ukraini­ans more than their fel­low Pol­ish cit­i­zens for man­ual la­bor. Their rea­son is that it re­mains dif­fi­cult to at­tract qual­i­fied per­son­nel in the do­mes­tic la­bor mar­ket. With this re­gard, in the Czech Repub­lic the lo­cal govern­ment in­creased a quota for the re­cep­tion of Ukraini­ans more than twice in 2018, which meant the num­ber of jobs grew from just 9,600 to 19,600! Czech For­eign Min­is­ter Mar­tin Strop­nit­ski said that his coun­try is sim­ply re­act­ing to a short­age of la­bor with the nec­es­sary skills.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Bank of Poland, Ukraini­ans have a very pow­er­ful in­flu­ence on their econ­omy, where more than 90 per­cent of money trans­fers out of coun­try are made to Ukraine. This real­ity re­futes the stereo­type that Europe needs Ukraini­ans for lit­tle more than house­work or the gath­er­ing of berries. Ukraini­ans have long since be­come a part of the global mi­gra­tion pro­cesses, which will only con­tinue to grow in the near fu­ture. The ques­tion is, is Ukraine ready for this chal­lenge?

Glob­al­iza­tion has changed the struc­ture of cap­i­tal and in­vest­ment, which means the mod­ern world needs en­ter­pris­ing and qual­i­fied per­son­nel. Coun­tries that boast busi­nesses that can cre­ate prod­ucts with high added value through tech­nol­ogy and in­no­va­tion will break away from the pack. The United States and China are al­ready com­pet­ing for first place with re­gard to ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence. Ac­cord­ing to plans set forth by the State Coun­cil of China, this area should ac­cu­mu­late $150 bil­lion by 2030, and ad­ja­cent to that $1.5 tril­lion. In prac­tice, as an ex­am­ple, this means that lawyers of the fu­ture will not in­ter­act more with judges, but with com­puter sys­tems, in which clear al­go­rithms will be cre­ated. Those in the le­gal sys­tem should be ready to par­tic­i­pate in court hear­ings thou­sands of kilo­me­ters away, and they will need to be con­sul­tants and ad­vi­sors able to co­op­er­ate in in­ter­na­tional mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary teams who are also able to an­a­lyze risks and un­der­stand project man­age­ment. If we need spe­cial­ists at this level, we need to change our ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing sys­tems now. While de­vel­oped coun­tries con­sider in­no­va­tion and cre­ativ­ity to be highly valu­able, our univer­si­ties (and even the stu­dents them­selves) are still be­ing sub­jected to writ­ten lec­tures for which they re­ceive the cov­eted check­mark.

To cre­ate com­fort­able con­di­tions for a qual­i­fied work­force in Ukraine, the rule of law along with a trans­par­ent pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion are key. We have great re­sources: Ukraine’s own phar­ma­col­ogy op­tions could re­place 94 per­cent of im­ported med­i­ca­tions, as an ex­am­ple. We also have ev­ery­thing to be­come a lead­ing player in the EU food mar­ket: pro­duc­tion of sugar, fruit and veg­etable prod­ucts, var­i­ous kinds of chil­dren's and di­etary food, etc. At the same time, how­ever, Ukrainian is in a ten­ta­tive po­si­tion as its huge in­tel­lec­tual po­ten­tial look more and more to head to de­vel­oped coun­tries in search of a de­cent salary and eas­ier life.

And this is the main threat to the eco­nomic fu­ture of the coun­try: no one wants to in­vest in an econ­omy where there is no one to in­no­vate. The com­pet­i­tive­ness of Ukraine, like any other coun­try, will be deter­mined by its qual­ity of la­bor re­sources.

52 Bo­hdan Kh­mel­nyt­sky, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01030. of­[email protected],

An­driy Dovbenko Man­ag­ing part­ner, Evris

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