The question of professional activity in Poland is considered nowadays in the context of the European labour market. This market, on the one hand, guarantees flexibility, and on the other hand, makes certain demands regarding employees’ mobility. These requirements influence the professional situation of young people in a very special way. In Poland, the low level of wages compared to so-called old European Union member states, combined with the existing tax and bureaucratic burden cause mass migration of people aged 18 to 30 abroad. Another problem underlying the process of young people in Poland entering the labour market is the number of fixed-term contracts (so-called ‘junk contracts’) – they are the form of employment for every sixth person.
Training and counselling programmes aimed at young people – mainly students – increase their chances for employment and thus make Poland’s economy more competitive. Since 2006, Kozminski University has been running a counselling and training programme enabling students from the Mazovia province to design, create, and implement business strategies. The first training phase was run on the basis of an extensive counselling model, including the use of multimedia and networking, and made it possible to identify and evaluate students’ business ideas and create initial business concepts and basic business plans.
The second phase involved implementing the best of the created projects. Subsidies and early-stage support making it possible to reach financial liquidity were also strictly controlled, and there were counselling mechanisms provided by Kozminski University coaches in place to monitor the business activity, the exchange of experience, and the promotion of transparency and good practices in entrepreneurship on an ongoing basis. An institution that significantly supported the project with the intention to facilitate internal communication, “network” the participants, and guarantee the right periodization of tasks, was the Dynamic Business Club. Another result of the “How to start your own business? A training and counselling programme for students” project is the following online platform: www.nowybiznes.edu.pl.