Competitiveness of metropolises. The third metropolitan debate in Olivia is behind us

During the Third Metropolitan Debate in Olivia, Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Deputy Mayor of Gdańsk, discussed the competitiveness and strength of the metropolis and how to attract contractors and employees to Pomerania; Katarzyna Gruszecka-Spychała, Deputy Mayor of Gdynia; Prof. Iwona Sagan from the University of Gdansk; Joanna Witkowska , Director of the Provincial Labour Office in Gdańsk and Maciej Grabski, President of Olivia Business Centre.

“In order to maintain the pace of development of our region, we simply need to recruit employees from abroad. There is no other way. But in order for them to want to come to us, we need to provide them with access to schools, culture, offices and, of course, provide them with housing. Without foreign workers, we will only go backwards – says Joanna Witkowska, director of the Provincial Labour Office, one of the speakers during the 3rd Metropolitan Debate in Olivia. It is important to be aware that in a few years’ time employers will have to recruit professionals not only from Ukraine, but also from exotic African countries. That is why state and local government institutions should already be taking social action against discriminatory behaviour and supporting openness. “We can still recruit Ukrainians and Belarusians to work, but this resource will be exhausted sooner or later. Therefore, we have to be prepared for the fact that we will need people from very exotic countries, outside our cultural and, above all, religious circle. So we have a huge educational work ahead of us, which will open our minds to everything that is different. Today we can see that this can be a big challenge – said Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, Deputy Mayor of Gdańsk, during the debate.

The world’s metropolises are characterized by multiculturalism and tolerance. So, if we want to think seriously about creating a metropolis in Pomerania, we must first ensure friendly living conditions for foreigners and their families. – We do not exist alone. Let’s look at Berlin. It is considered to be one of the friendliest cities for the development of creativity. Metropolises are always colourful, multicultural and open to otherness. If we go to one of the world’s metropolises, we will feel at home there. Is this the result of a deliberate state policy? No, these are natural socio-economic processes that require human potential. We must remember that people who come to work here want to settle here. So we need to create a friendly place for their whole families. There needs to be some kind of public service offer for them. These are the people who are also customers, consumers and who will drive the economy – believes Prof. Iwona Sagan from the University of Gdansk.

Fig. Piotr Hukało

On the other hand, Maciej Grabski, President of Olivia Business Centre, noted that the acquisition of employees from distant countries will take place only in a few years. He stated that it is worth taking advantage of the human resources potential that is still in Poland. There is no shortage of regions in the country whose inhabitants would like to move to Pomerania. – First, let’s use what we have in the country, and then let’s reach for employees from exotic countries. There are workers in other regions who would be willing to live with us, but we need to provide them with the right conditions. Let’s remember that employing Poles from other areas is a cheaper solution for employers than employing foreigners. said Maciej Grabski, President of the Management Board. He also pointed out that ensuring the availability of housing is an element conducive to the recruitment of employees and influencing the development of the region. And it’s not just about making it easier to buy a place.

President Grabski also believes that Pomerania should fight for some pro-development impulse, financed from central funds. – A large programme would be useful, it could be aimed at improving the quality of education at universities, or maybe it would be of a university-military nature? To this end, it would be worthwhile to apply for a government grant – adds Maciej Grabski.

source: “The third metropolitan debate at Olivia Business Centre. Metropolises are always multicultural, colourful and open to otherness”, Dziennik Bałtycki, author: Agnieszka Kamińska

More about the Third Debate, including video materials, on the website of Dziennik Bałtycki



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