Closing the Skills Gap in Poland: Leveraging the Promise of Social Enterprise and the BPO Industry


The lack of appropriate skills continues to keep millions of people from entering the formal labor market and in a state of underemployment and poverty. At the same time, the lack of qualified labor and talent continues to be a key cause of concern among employers throughout the world. Social enterprises can meet professional training needs of Polish at-risk youth and women for employment in the business processes outsourcing (BPO) and IT sector industries.

Closing the Skills Gap in Poland presents research on youth and women unemployment in Poland and how the BPO/IT industry can be a solution for at-risk communities. In particular, the research assessed youth without relevant work experience and women who do not currently participate in the labor force. The report dives deeply into the skills and other support mechanisms that are needed to help these groups find long-term and livable wage employment while satisfying the employment needs of Business Services Centers, a key high-growth industry in the country.

The report offers:

• Overview of employment and underemployment trends among youth and women in Poland
• Analysis of the business services sector as the one with the greatest potential for the creation of jobs in Poland in the next few years
• Review of the vocational education system in terms of the opportunities it presents to gain the skills needed for work in the BPO/IT sector
• Detailed description of the skills that are in particular demand by employers in the BPO/IT sector, the extent to which they are included in vocational school programs, and the steps needed to include these skills in supplementary training programs for people who are looking for work
• Innovative measures and best practices to minimize the imbalance between labor market supply and demand that are currently being piloted by a range of different institutions in Poland and in other countries, supplemented with case studies presenting selected examples of collaboration between training institutions and corporate partners

The findings indicate that there is an urgent need to develop close partnerships between BPO/IT companies, vocational education providers and social enterprises that understand individuals who are at-risk of unemployment or who are already experiencing long-term unemployment.

Closing the Skills Gap in Poland was developed with the generous support of J.P. Morgan. It is part of NESsT Empowers, a global program that invests in social enterprises that generate dignified employment opportunities for marginalized communities to enter the job market.

NESsT has launched the second phase of the NESsT Empowers program in Poland to identify and support social enterprises that offer vital training, placement, and employment to young people and women in the business processes outsourcing (BPO) and IT industry. As the result of this work NESsT invited Dotrzymaj Kroku Foundation, established by the Coders Lab programming school, to join its portfolio of social enterprises. NESsT is supporting Możesz ITy vocational training program aimed at improving access to IT jobs for youth, with a special focus on young people who are leaving orphanages and state institutions. NESsT is also establishing a new collaboration with Dimpact, a social enterprise that is developing a training program for at-risk youth and women to be placed in BPO sector jobs.

NESsT has been working for 20 years to provide dignified employment to lift people out of poverty in emerging markets. NESsT achieves its mission by raising philanthropic capital to invest in and develop social enterprises that create employment and viable income opportunities for the poorest communities facing isolation, discrimination, lack of job skills and poor education.

(84 pages; 210 mm x 297 mm)
ISBN 978-1-930363-50-2
ISBN 978-1-930363-49-6

Available online in eBook format in the following languages:
English – full report // summary
Polish – full resport // summary