Poland flag Poland


Poland's skills snapshot


Developing the relevant skills

  • How well does Poland’s education system perform? In the 2009 PISA tests of 15-year-olds, Poland performs above the OECD average in reading (rank 15) and science (rank 19), and slightly below the OECD average in mathematics (rank 25).1
  • Does Poland invest enough in education and training? Poland spent 5.8% of its annual income on education in 2009, compared to the OECD average of 6.2%.2
  • How much are Polish citizens undertaking further education? In 2006, 19% of Polish citizensparticipated in continuing non-formal education compared to the OECD average of 34%.3
  • How equal is access to opportunities for further training in Poland? In 2006, 54% of people aged 25-64 with a tertiary-level education participated in formal and/or non-formal education, compared with 5% for people in the same age group with below upper secondary education.4
  • Should more be done to prevent skills shortages? Partly reflecting the rise in unemployment between 2007 and 2011,5 the proportion of Polish employers reporting recruitment difficulties fell from 49%  to 4% over the same period.6,7

Supplying skills

  • Is there scope to improve skill utilisation in Poland through strengthening labour force participation? In 2011, 84% of people aged between 25 and 54 were in the labour force, compared to an OECD average of 81%.8 The participation rate for prime-age women (aged 25-54) is above the OECD average at 79% in 2011 (OECD average 71%).9   
  • To what extent are Poland’s older workers supplying their skills to the labour market? In 2011, only 39.6% of people aged 55 to 64 were in the labour force, compared to an OECD average of 57.8%.10  

Using skills

  • How smooth is the transition from school to work for Poland’s youth? The employment rate of Poland’s youth in 2011 was 25%, compared with the OECD average of 39%.11 In 2011, the unemployment rate of Poland’s youth was 25.8%, a high rate compared with the OECD average of 16.2%.12
  • Are the qualifications of Poland’s workers well matched with the requirements of their jobs? In 2005, 12% of Poland’s workers were over-qualified for their jobs (against theOECD average of 25%), and 14% were under-qualified (against the OECD average of 22%).13 Over-qualified (under-qualified) workers are those who have a higher (lower) qualification than the most common qualification of all other workers in the same occupation.


Key recommendations from the OECD Skills Strategy

A country can develop the relevant skills by encouraging and enabling people to learn throughout life; fostering international mobility of skilled people to fill skills gaps; and promoting cross-border skills policies.

A country can activate the supply of skills by encouraging people to offer their skills to the labour market and retaining skilled people in the labour market.

A country can put skills to effective use by creating a better match between people’s skills and the requirements of their job and increasing the demand for high-level skills.

For more information, see the:

OECD Policy Map on Skills | OECD Skills Strategy | Skills Strategy: Overview

Watch this video on strong performers in Poland


Add comment