Those who start early end up better
Over the past years, combining work and study has not only been reasonable, but also necessary. Experts say that only this way young people can prepare for entry on the labour market. According to Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS), students who work during their studies, can more easily find employment upon graduation. Average time for finding a job by them is 2-3 months, whereas a recent graduate with no previous work experience looks for a job for nearly 2 years.
It is easy for a student to find a job, as employing them means lower costs for employers. According to Polish law, students under 26 are not subject to compulsory retirement and disability insurance if they perform work based on an agency or freelance agreements. However, if students are employed full-time, social insurance contributions are payable. According to GUS, only 6% of Polish full-time students, 41% of part-time students, and 69% of external students work during their studies. In total, employment rate for higher education students amounts to nearly 40%.
Students work in all sectors; at corporations (where they are entrusted with less responsible tasks, like secretarial duties) and at service companies (restaurants, hotels, cleaning telemarketing and media companies). Students cooperatives operate at some universities, one of the oldest being Universitas seated in Warsaw.
Students in Poland also apply for placements, preferably paid ones, although these are very hard to find. Offers can be found at university career bureaus or on the Internet, e.g at www.dlastudenta.pl, www.pracaikariera.pl. Gazeta Wyborcza, national daily and Polish division of PwC organise the most popular in Poland competition for future trainees entitled Grasz o staż (Win a Placement). If a student is registered as an unemployed person, Job Centres can look for job offers for them. Students can also use the services of regional career guidance centres, where they can undergo training or talk to professional counsellors.
Youngsters aged 16-18 can take up employment, provided they completed an upper secondary school. Junior workers can work as part of vocational training (in that case employers are obliged to observe school curriculum guidelines) or simply work full-time. In both cases, hwoever, they cannot perform hazardous or hard work. You can find more information on that on the website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
Starting in 2018 r, as a result of reforms in the system of education, 15-year olds will be allowed to take up employment.