In addition to actions by the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund (EUIF), the state is trying to cope with the problem presented by the tens of thousands out of school and work with help from a special program.
According to Statistics Estonia data, an estimated 29,200 young people between the ages of 15-29, or 12.5 percent of this age group, were absent from the labor market, school and training in 2015, of which nearly one-third were unemployed and two-thirds inactive, reported daily Eesti Päevaleht. At the same time, compared to 2014 figures, the number of such young people had decreased by 4,400.
"It seems to me like they have been society’s invisible generation," said Heidi Paabort, director of the Association of Estonian Open Youth Centres’ (EANK) Youth Prop Up support program. "They were caught between an economic boom and recession; self-determination is most important for them."
Over 137 local governments have joined the Youth Prop Up program, launched in order to prevent unemployment among the young, which currently involves 2,000 young people found by the program both via social media and on the street.
Young participants in the program are tracked for another six months after they complete the program. Of 261 participants to complete the program, 144 have gone on to work, 65 are participating in formal studies and 10 are currently on parental leave.
In February of this year, the Ministry of the Interior launched the STEP program, which assists young people with criminal backgrounds get back to work or into education. STEP is aimed at helping young people ages 15-26 who have been punished for a criminal offense and neither work nor go to school.
Within the framework of the program, an appropriate employment or educational opportunity is found for participants, who are counseled in the course of their employment or education. Another priority for the program is providing young people with criminal backgrounds an equal opportunity on the job market.
Editor: Aili Vahtla