Most strawberry growers have yet to seek wage subsidies ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Strawberries (photo is illustrative).
Strawberries (photo is illustrative). Source: Heido Selmet/minupilt.err.ee

As the end of strawberry-picking season has arrived, just two berry farming businesses have contacted the Unemployment Insurance Fund seeking wage subsidies.

Lauri Kool, chief communications specialist at the Unemployment Insurance Fund, said that as of Monday, the fund has concluded agreements with two businesses involved in berry farming. In both cases, he noted that employment relationships were two months in length.

According to a forecast drawn up by the fund, they are expecting to pay €600,000 in support, for the recruitment of 750 long-term unemployed individuals. Thus taking advantage of the opportunity is off to a modest start.

While the final results won't be available until the new year, following the conclusion of the application period, Kool believes that total costs will remain below initially forecast figures.

Strawberry Farmers' Association director Elke Lillemets has previously told ERR that the financial aid offered by the state for recruiting long-term unemployed individuals has not brought the sector relief. Lillemets found that Estonians prefer to take a break during summer months and that the only effective action would have been permitting foreign labor into the country.

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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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