Polish professionals helping to fill UK financial services skills gap

Professional polish workers are helping to fill the UK financial services skills gap, research revealed.

Far from simply supplying the UK with a large force of low-wage workers, figures from recruiter Joslin Rowe showed the number of Polish accountants registering for work has risen sixfold since 2003.

In the first two years since Poland joined the European Union in May 2004, 270,000 Polish people have registered to work in the UK, with 60,000 heading straight to London.

The recruiter’s figures showed 3,425 of these workers were accountants, 5.7% of the total to come to UK shores.

Scotland was found to be slower in picking up on Polish workers to plug holes in the financial services industry.

Just 1.3% of the 32,000 Polish arrivals north of the border are accountants.

Tara Ricks, managing director of Joslin Rowe Associates, said: “There is a chronic shortage of qualified accountants in the UK. British firms are crying out for staff.

“The introduction of International Accounting Standards, an increasing burden of regulation and a rising emphasis on corporate governance have boosted demand dramatically and pushed salaries up accordingly.

“We simply do not have enough home grown accountants to fill the void and this is creating opportunities for those from overseas. Scotland has taken a bit longer to catch on to the Eastern European trend, but we think that it will follow London’s lead.”


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