Counseling and job fairs to combat Ida-Viru employment problem ({{commentsTotal}})

Kohtla-Järve is the second major town in Ida-Viru County
Kohtla-Järve is the second major town in Ida-Viru County Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

Health and Labor Minister Rannar Vassiljev said he is positive that Kohta-Järve and the employment office will solve the unemployment crisis which hit Northeast Estonia after over 600 recent sackings, including 426 with fertilizer producer Nitrofert.

Vassiljev met with Jevgeni Solovjov, the Kohtla-Järve mayor. Most of the Nitrofert staff lives in Kohtla-Järve, and the 600 new unemployed increased the region's jobless numbers by more than 10 percent.

Counseling and jobs fairs will begin in August, with potential employers also involved in the process.

Vassiljev said the region could also ask EU for help, adding that Töötukassa, the employment office, does have enough means to combat the problem itself.

On July 8, Nitrofert said it will lay off all of its employees in September and October. State-owned Eesti Energia had announced lay offs of 200 just a few days before.

Low energy prices, increases in tax on gas were among the major reasons.

The development has led to a few security experts to call on the government to act quickly. Vladimir Juškin, head of a think-tank, and Martin Hurt of the International Center of Defense and Security, said the spike in unemployment in the mostly Russian-speaking region could lead to dissatisfaction with the government, and ultimately to protests similar to those in eastern Ukraine shortly before the conflict.

Editor: J.M. Laats