Agency: Work in Estonia's spouse program pays off nearly tenfold
The tax income of last year's alumni of Work in Estonia's Spouse Program totaled more than €320,000 per year, thereby exceeding the costs of the program by nine times, the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency said Monday.
"A very important part of foreign talent staying in Estonia is their partner's ability to find a suitable job," Work in Estonia director Anneli Aab said according to a press release.
Relocating to another country is expensive both for the recruiting business and the foreign talent, but if the new hire's partner can't find a suitable means of applying themselves as well, the family will more likely move on to another country where they can.
"We already knew from earlier studies that the Spouse Program has justified itself, as a large part of those who participated in the program have found a job in Estonia after completing it," Aab explained. "Now the tax analysis has likewise confirmed that this is a revenue project for the state."
According to a survey conducted by Praxis think tank in 2019, 21 percent of employers indicated that the reason a foreign worker left Estonia was because their partner or spouse could not find a suitable means of applying themselves here.
That same year, Work in Estonia launched its Spouse Program, the goal of which was to introduce the spouses and partners of foreign talents hired in Estonia to the country's work and living conditions, and to offer them personal counseling as well as new acquaintances in the community.
"Demand for participation in the Spouse Program is high," Aab said. "When registration opens, the spots fill up quickly. We're looking for ways to further increase the program's volume in the future, as competition for talent is global, and every such activity helps shift the balance in Estonia's favor."
"This program was the missing piece of the puzzle that helped me gain knowledge and confidence in how to integrate and fit my background, education and previous professional experience into the Estonian work environment," said Zeyad Khalaf, Spouse Program alum and project manager at Ericsson Estonia.
Khalaf noted that it and other programs such as Settle in Estonia serve as gateways that help expats establish themselves in Estonia.
To date, a total of 283 people have graduated from Work in Estonia's Spouse Program since 2019, including 59 last year; another 90 are slated to graduate this year.
Aimed at supporting Estonian companies in foreign recruitment, Work in Estonia is run by the Estonian Business and Innovation Agency. The program helps introduce Estonia to foreign talents as an attractive place to work as well as provides support to companies operating in Estonia in hiring and retaining foreign specialists by offering services including family relocation and adaptation services.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla