We should reduce labor migration from Ukraine, and we can do it

Author : Bohdana Kostyuk

Source :

While Ukrainian workers search for a better life abroad, Ukrainian labor market is going down, as demand for workers increased and the number of skilled workers in this area decreases
22:37, 14 December 2016

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Ukraine lacks of working professionals - from builders, mechanics, plumbers to agricultural sector workers and drivers. These occupations of "national importance" in November were approved by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. In support of these jobs Government plans to allocate more than 160 million UAH from the state budget. The experts, in turn, noted that without economic growth in Ukraine, on the one hand, and adequate remuneration, on the other hand, Ukrainian workers will move abroad, mostly to the European Union.

Ukrainians complain, it became more difficult to find qualified plumber or builder-technician to fix taps or make repairs in the apartment. The employers are also searching for cooks, drivers, nurses and construction workers. These occupations are needed not only in Ukraine but also in developed countries - where wages are much higher and where often move Ukrainian builders, fitters, turners, workers of machinery and tractors repairing, educators, nurses, viticulturists and beekeepers.

The Cabinet of Ministers hopes to replenish Ukrainian market with current students of vocational schools, even though this component of secondary special education is in crisis. Indeed, as explained the deputy minister of education and science Pavlo Khobzey, the financing of educational institutions had been entrusted to local authorities. But "local authorities are not always interested in their financing, which could lead to the closure of vocational schools," admits Khobzey.

People's deputies this summer held hearings on issues of vocational education in the context of decentralization. According to the deputy chairman of parliament Oksana Syroid, now we are talking about the survival of this kind of education and thus the potential to provide Ukrainian economy with qualified workers.

"We put vocational education under threat of destruction, and this is not some abstract environment that is separated from the world. Vocational education - that's what people want. Because if there would be no vocational education, there will be no seamstresses, masons, carpenters, and workers in the factories. Indeed those who receive prestigious economic or legal diplomas probably would not, at first, go to such work, and secondly who need their "high" diplomas there, if they do not have basic skills?" - said Syroid.

Working specialists receive very low wages

Independent experts also believe that the problem is not only in education but also in that workers have to work hard for very little money. And this is one of the reasons why young Ukrainians do not hurry to work on construction sites or in the factories, says economist and president of the Market Reforms Center Volodymyr Lanovyi.

"We have many young people graduated from universities; they do not want to work in such places as construction sites or in agriculture. These young people are moving abroad, this is overall process. And the fact that country is lacking of workers, the reason of this is clear: there is a very little remuneration. And young people are not interested to engage in hard work if there are other possibilities, "- said Lanovyi.

Among others, the most active and initiative people are moving abroad - the ones who suffered and survived in Orange revolution, Revolution of dignity, and young people who had to join the development of the Ukrainian state, recognizes Lanovyi.

Related: Labor migration from Ukraine to Poland: From temporary to permanent

Among other reasons, Ukrainians are worriedof corruption and financial problems. Thus, according to International Head Hunters HR Portal, if in 2015 the main problems were unstable political situation and lack of a sense of security, now Ukrainians emphasize the material aspects - inflation, rising prices, low quality of life in general.

While Ukrainian workers search for a better life abroad, Ukrainian labor market is going down, as demand for workers increased and the number of skilled workers in this area decreases. Occasionally on building sites or at the road works can be seen representatives of the peoples of Caucasus, Moldova and Central Asia, but, as experts recognized, this number of migrant workers is not enough to fill Ukrainian market.

Economic development and higher wages - key to labor market stabilization

We should reduce labor migration from Ukraine, and we can do it, experts say. For this purpose t is necessary to reform and modernize Ukrainian economy, support small and medium businesses and to conduct an information campaign to make working professions prestigious, experts say. Also in reducing outflows of "hands" and "intelligence" from Ukraine, authorities can use higher wages - at least, increased to 300-500 US dollars per month, experts say.

Recovery of the Ukrainian economy in general is always important, as it activates labor market. Thus, in 2016, according to the job search site, almost half of employers after several years of stagnation again began hiring workers. Moreover, the Ministry of Economy plans to create jobs for IDPs from Donbas and Crimea, which will also increase demand for staff, reports site development director Serhiy Marchenko.

"If you’ll take look at working specialties, most of such workers, apparently, are engaged in the developing spheres. For example, now in the sphere of construction the number of vacancies has increased. This is a very positive sign that means that employers activity increases and Ukraine should expect economic growth ", told the expert.

Related: Ukrainian human rights organization uncovered forced labor prisons in occupied Donbas

Related: Siesta and longer vacation for Ukrainians in the new Labor Code


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