In Katowice and GZM there are almost 32,000 employees in 135 business services centres with 26,600 people working in Katowice in more than 100 centers. This means that Katowice remains at the forefront of cities with a developed specialization in business services. On top of this, Katowice is also strengthening its position in the field of highly specialized knowledge-based services (KIBS) – according to the latest report of the Business Services Sector in Katowice, prepared by ABSL, in cooperation with Colliers, Mercer, Randstad and Randstad Sourceright.
The role of Katowice and GZM in the modern business services sector has been growing steadily in the last few years. Over the past five years, employment in service centers in Katowice and GZM has increased by 60 per cent, which translates into almost 12,000 new jobs. Last year alone, more than 2,250 jobs were created, which is equivalent to nearly 190 jobs per month. In Q1 2023, Katowice and the GZM accounted for 7.3 per cent of total employment in the sector. The region is among the top five in the country in terms of the size of the sector.
– It is evident from the data in the report that the business services sector undeniably has a huge impact on the attractiveness of our region and Katowice itself as a competitive place to live and work. In Katowice, we invest equally in new technologies and talent, in residents as well as improving their quality of life. In all of these activities, the most important thing is the resident, who wants to become a permanent part of our city and to be a participating member of our community. These factors lead to the creation of a strong local economy – says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice.
The growing importance of highly specialized knowledge-based services
Highly specialized knowledge-based services (KIBS) are becoming increasingly important in Poland. Last year, more than 85 per cent of the jobs, created in this sector in Poland, were in services requiring advanced skills, mostly in the field of technology. The data analyzed, such as the location factor, shows that KIBS in Katowice is growing faster than other sectors of the economy.
– At present, IT services remain the main category at the 135 centers in Katowice and GZM, employing more than 44 per cent of the sector’s workforce. A thriving IT offer, with an emphasis on software development, cyber security, data analysis and artificial intelligence means the region is dominated by IT centers, while SSC/GBS centers are predominant across Poland – reports Stanisław Umiński, PhD, senior analyst and ABSL expert.
Data from the report prepared by the ABSL team confirms that one of the key objective factors contributing to the development of the region’s services sector is a qualified and multilingual talent pool. Every year, a large number of graduates in sector related subjects, such as finance, IT, and business administration, enter the region’s labor market.
– Students and graduates are a particularly important group from the perspective of the business services sector. Therefore, it is important for companies to be open to employing and training them, but it is also paramount to offer them flexible working conditions that suit their needs. Employers with this approach will be more attractive for candidates – emphasizes Edyta Janas, Sales Director, Randstad Sourceright, EMEA.
English is widely spoken. Many employees are fluent in other languages as well, including German, French and Spanish. In total, employees in the region’s centers speak 38 languages involved in processes.
Agglomeration potential – possible increase in sector employment to 35,000 people
According to forecasts from a year ago, the sector’s employment in Katowice and the GZM is now approaching 32,000 people. The optimistic forecast for 2024 predicts that employment will increase to over 35,000. The largest number of all 135 business service centers is located in Katowice (105), followed by Gliwice (14), Chorzów, Dąbrowa Górnicza and Sosnowiec (3), Bytom (2), Kotlarnia, Ruda Śląska, Tychy, Zabrze and Żernica (one each). Foreign investors are from 18 countries. Investors from the USA (26), Germany (15) and France (13) make up the top three while Polish investors currently own 35 centers.
– Katowice is the leader of the GZM agglomeration. This is reflected in both the number of centers and the number of employees. According to the logic of regional development and agglomeration processes, Katowice is part of a large metropolis, which has a clear positive impact on the attractiveness of the city itself. This is due to the availability of an extensive talent pool and the positive effects associated with the interaction of many people within the agglomeration. In the long term, the increasing cooperation between the cities across the metropolis will further increase the attractiveness of the location- says Stanisław Cieśla, ABSL Silesia Chapter Lead and Site Lead of the Kyndryl Service Centre in Katowice.
Katowice has been ranked sixth in the “Cities of the Future” category in the fDI Intelligence ranking published by the Financial Times’ team of analysts in 2023. Katowice was ranked among such cities as Porto, Birmingham, Glasgow, Antwerp, and Manchester. The overall ranking takes into account 370 European cities and 148 regions and assesses their prospects for the development of foreign direct investment. According to the methodology used, the centers were analyzed on the basis of indicators grouped into five categories: economic potential, human resources and lifestyle, cost efficiency, infrastructure, and business friendliness. The area in which Katowice was singled out as outstanding was its strategy in attracting foreign direct investment (fDi strategy). In this area, experts analyzed applications from 60 European locations.
Office market – leasing opportunities
The availability of modern office space is one of the most important factors in attracting companies to a location. The office stock in Katowice is now 750,000 sqm, making it the fifth largest market in Poland, with a further 80,000 sqm under construction.
– The situation in the Katowice office market is very dynamic. The region is characterized by the large availability of modern space, as well as numerous modification options for the tenant, such as the possibility of subleasing ready and furnished space as well as the high availability of flex space – says Barbara Pryszcz, Regional Director, Colliers Katowice.
Report prepared for the Katowice City Hall by the Association of Business Service Leaders (ABSL) in cooperation with Colliers, Mercer, Randstad and Randstad Sourceright.
Report can be downloaded here
Katowice, located in southern Poland, is the central city of the Upper Silesian-Zagłębie Metropolis with a population of almost 2.2 million. The investment-friendly climate is created by an excellently developed road network with sustainable transport, access to 3 international airports and a strong academic tradition. Linguistic abilities and multilingualism are confirmed by investors, whose business centres provide services in more than 30 different foreign languages. Read more: www.invest.katowice.eu
Association of Business Service Leaders – brings together 250 of the world’s largest companies, representing a sector which currently employs over 435,000 people in Poland. The 1,800 service centres, dispersed in more than 80 locations, create a thriving sector supporting economic development thanks to, among other things, innovative solutions implemented by international corporations. The aim is to build attractive and sustainable ecosystems that create new jobs through positive engagement and responsibly develop investment and business in local communities.
You can download the report from the invest.katowice.eu site here: https://invest.katowice.eu/en/reports-and-publications/