Estonian government endorses 2017-2020 employment program
Estonia's caretaker government gave its nod on Thursday to the national employment program for 2017-2020, which sets out new measures to avoid unemployment among people who are currently employed as well as provides for the continuation of services and labor market support measures envisaged under the country's previous program.
The program would introduce three new unemployment-preventing measures beginning May 1, 2017. The first of them is support in the amount of 130-260 euros per month for the participation in a curriculum of formal education acquired within the adult education system. In addition, labor market training in the amount of up to 2,500 euros in three years will be made available to people with a job and employers compensated for 50-100 percent of their expenses incurred in connection with developing the skills of their employees up to the amount of 1,250-2,500 euros per employee, spokespeople for the government said.
In 2017, the subsidy will be paid for the commencement of studies in information and communication technology, forestry and the wood industry, accounting, social work and metalworking and woodworking. The list of curricula eligible for the subsidy will be expanded in accordance with the findings of surveys on labor demand.
The aim of the new measures is to prevent unemployment by means of further training and retraining as well as supporting structural changes in the economy. The focus will be on workers not having specialized education or having an outdated education failing to meet the demands of the labor market, workers with insufficient command of Estonian language as well as workers older than 50 years of age. Also eligible will be workers who cannot continue working their existing job as a result of a health condition.
Employers who need to employ workers with specified skills or are planning a reorganization at their business can apply to be compensated for training costs.
In addition, the plan would make convicts serving a sentence in an open prison eligible for labor market support.
The value of the measures under the national employment program from May 1 to Dec. 31, 2017 is 22.3 million euros.