Returning international Slovaks are a win-win for Slovakia and Britain
Let’s start with the archetypal British multinational: Tesco. They have over 70 stores in Slovakia. More remarkably, although Tesco employs 10,000 Slovaks in Slovakia, the company employs 1,000 Slovaks in Britain.
Returnees help British companies set up niche investment in Slovakia
I saw this promise come to fruition time and again. There are many examples of Slovaks being picked up by British investors, trained up, and sent back home to help develop British business – in a Slovak way.
Slovak is the lingua-franca for some of our NHS hospitals and care homes
Britain attracts a lot of Slovak talent. It has to do primarily with the English language, but also Britain’s ability to uphold a culture that people are attracted to.
Slovaks were the second largest Eastern European community coming to the UK, after Poland
I am always struck by the number of Slovaks studying in the UK, by the number of Slovaks employed in health-care, the hospitality industry, banking as well those in education.
They come to one of the most diverse countries on this planet
And they are embraced and accepted. The question remains whether they transfer that diversity to Slovakia upon return. Take LGBT rights, do they embrace them abroad, but leave them at the border? Or do international Slovaks come back to drive social change? Telling the locals: “Come on guys, let’s chill out on the issue and join the rest of modern world.” Entrepreneurialism is about the ability to stand on your own two feet the entrepreneur thinks for himself and makes things happen. But, under communism, people were taught how to follow rather than to lead. Returning Slovaks bring entrepreneurial initiative They come back with the British entrepreneur- ial instinct. In the land of can-do, if you fail, you just pick yourself up and try again.
They can instigate something new
I think this culture is not so typical to universities in Slovakia which tend to be more about conforming and box ticking. International experience gives Slovaks confidence to come home and start a business, or to do something different.
To stand on a spot of the earth and say: “I am going TO make it work”
For a young person, the world is their oyster. Living abroad, in another culture, is an opportunity to come out of their shell. To learn how things can be done differently and to experience that there are many different ways to prosperity and happiness.
Many Slovaks are now well established in Britain
It’s been over a decade since Slovakia’s EU accession. They should come out and celebrate their success. To say, we are proud to be Slovaks in the UK.
Why not celebrate their success as a culture?
The Poles are already doing it.