Education Minister Jürgen Ligi approved a project to create 4,700 apprentice jobs in three years. The aim is to give students more work experience and bring them closer to the job market.
A person participating in the program will spend one third of his or her time studying and two thirds working. The project will also give companies the chance to teach and train new staff.
Ligi said many Western European nations have run similar programs, and with great success. “The great benefit of the apprentice program is that one would not need to begin to learn a job after entering the job market after graduation,” Ligi said, adding that the employer gets a worker who already knows what to do.
Participants in the program will continue to be eligible for student benefits such as cheaper public transport tickets and student loans, but will also receive a salary.
Last year, Estonia had 617 such apprentices. By 2020, the state hopes to have 8,000 such students.
Editor: J.M. Laats