Poland is facing a shortage of workers after an exodus of people to Britain and Germany.
The country is having to recruit workers from countries like Ukraine and Bangladesh to fill vacancies in trades such as building, welding and lorry driving.
The construction industry is one of the worst affected, with 100,000 employees required, according to the union of construction workers.
Major construction firm Budimex, which is currently looking for 1,000 extra workers, says it needs tradespeople of all types including plasterers and carpenters.
Spokesman Krzysztof Koziol said: “We’re seeing a labour shortage in our company, but the same goes for our subcontractors who are also complaining.
“Sometimes they offer to provide us with construction equipment but then add that they don’t have anyone to drive it.
“We’re short on practically all workers – masons, carpenters, concrete mixers, plasterers, pavers, drivers, machine operators. Too few foremen and engineers, too.”
A Polish businessman who runs a logistics company in Warsaw said: “Right now we mostly take on Ukrainians and some Belarussians.
“We practically no longer have Poles. They’re all working in Germany or Britain.”
Poland has adopted a tough stance on refugees coming into the country but development minister Jerzy Kwiecinski said a re-think was needed.
Economists say Poland will need 20 million workers by 2030 at a time when the working age population will have plunged to 16 million people.
Official forecasts predict that by 2030 one in five jobs will be vacant in Poland, posing a threat to the country’s economic growth which has continued to thrive since the fall of communism in 1989.
The problem is being exacerbated by the current child-rearing generation which is having only half the number of children than those born in the post-war baby boom.
Mr Kwiecinski said: “Our economy already needs foreign workers and in the future we’ll need more and more.”
The government has announced plans to adapt the migration policy to welcome foreign workers who have the skills for sectors where there is a shortage.
It is estimated that a million Ukrainians work in Poland and that figure is expected to rise by almost a third in the coming years.
The Central and Eastern European Migration Review put the number of Poles who emigrated to the UK between 2004 and 2012 at around 580,000.