Between home and happiness: mass migration from Ukraine makes you choose
The story of life, choice and difficulties
Nikolai sits in his mother’s apartment looking at his computer screen with a sinking heart and wondering whether he should stay in Ukraine, where he struggled to find a job or go abroad to work.
He has already left his city of Odessa once where job prospects are dim, to work in USA where he earned enough money to buy the necessary equipment for his further work in Ukraine and finally live a little for his own pleasure.
This is not the first month that Nikolai Simonik tries to leave for work to China. After he left his job in Kiev, he had to return back home to Odessa. At 27 years old he lives at home again with his mother, Nikolai must make a choice facing many other young, educated like him in a country where 1 million of young people leave each year due to a lack of jobs and low wages.
Every year thousands of young people leave Ukraine for work abroad, depriving the country of the educated workforce, which the government says is crucial for the country’s economic growth. According to the estimates of the Institute of Economics and Forecasting, the outflow of this labor force already turns into a loss of about 40 billion UAH per year for the Ukrainian economy and every fourth of five Ukrainian workers calls low wages the main factor of their departure for work.
The outflow of workers from Ukraine has brought problems to the country that cannot be overlooked: fewer new projects are being developed for the city, because young creative people are leaving abroad; education is stuck at the level of the post-soviet space, young teachers do not come to work, and the former ones are not adapted to the modern needs of students; young doctors leave the country leaving old specialists here, who works only after the word “bribe”. So, all these and many other features leave the country with nothing, stalling it to stand still without moving forward to something new and better.
Having conducted a survey among Ukrainian youth aged from 17 to 30, statistics shows that 75 percent support the process of “brain drain” and they themselves would like to move to work to another country or try themselves on the field of seasonal earnings.
“People who go out of our country should raise the national economy of Ukraine, but from the impasse they must raise someone else’s. The only way out of this is to create conditions for working and living at home, rather than somewhere. Normal and successful is the state whose citizens go abroad to rest, and not to seek a better share”, - the political party “Batkivshchyna” takes this position and point of view.
If you ask people if they want to leave or stay and why, the answer of meaning of departure will be that 37% want to earn more money, 34% want eventually stay in another country, 18% want to have an interesting experience, and 11% do not give a concrete answer.
Respectively for the year, the average Ukrainian can earn 96,000 UAH = 2,924.61 Euros. When on a good job abroad, you can earn up to 1000 Euros per month. Employers are sounding the alarm, and officials admit that the outflow of labor abroad already affects the pace of Ukraine’s economic development, and may soon become one of the main risk factors.
“We already see financial losses related to the lack of personnel”, - Denis Morozov, the director of economics and finance, said.
“The countries in which our labor migrants are moving receive the labor force, which they did not spend a penny to prepare for, and our employers are already facing a catastrophic shortage of personnel”, - says Oleg Shevchuk, chairman of the Ukrainian Employers’ Confederation.
Almost half of a year has passed since Nikolai left without his work and to this day he is warming his hopes for a high-paid position abroad. Almost every second resident of Ukraine can hear this phrase: “I love my country, but I would go away with pleasure”. This is a harsh, true and modern reality. The country turns into one continuous “living bribe”.
Kolya is a chemist by education, but he would like to write scripts for films and serials.
Filled with interest in American life and prospects in the field of cinema, he went to America, but did not encounter there the work of his dream, but only got on a “black job”.
This fate overtakes most Ukrainians, they leave for the most dusty work, but earn several times more. For example, working in Ukraine in a prestigious company, you will receive less money than selling donuts somewhere on the outskirts of the state of Massachusetts.
Time is running and each time, while checking his email, Nikolai thinks about what will happen when he finally receives a positive response and he will go to work abroad.