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Minister introduces project to attract 2,000 foreign ICT specialists

Minister of Entrepreneurship Urve Palo at the presentation of the project, Mar. 6, 2017.
Minister of Entrepreneurship Urve Palo at the presentation of the project, Mar. 6, 2017. Source: (ERR)

According to Minister of Entrepreneurship Urve Palo (SDE), the Estonian education system does not produce a sufficient number of specialists for the local information technology and communications sector, which is why some 2,000 specialists will have to be found abroad.

The Estonian labor market currently lacked 7,000 ICT specialists, the minister said, adding that this number would increase to 8,600 by the year 2020. For this reason, Palo announced, a project would be started to find 2,000 specialists abroad.

“We have the problem in Estonia that we need more data processing specialists and programmers. We’ve now come up with a way to bring 2,000 specialists here,” Palo said at a presentation on Monday.

According to Palo, the matters to be sorted out to that end include public services such as residency and work permits, finding a general practitioner for each new arrival, school placement for their children, accommodation, and so on. For all this, a single online environment is to be created, including the possibility to apply for a work permit on the basis of Estonia’s e-residency program.

“We’ve calculated that if 2,000 IT specialists came to Estonia who could earn a conservatively estimated €2,500 gross a month, and if we added social tax to that and took it times 12, we could add €80 million a year to the Estonian economy,” Palo explained.

Some €10 million would be allocated to the project between 2018 and 2022. “The project will earn this money back quickly,” the minister said.

“In addition to helping businesses financially, we need to develop skills. If we want to increase productivity and wages, all of this is connected. Today everyone needs IT skills, and here we want to help and invest,” Palo added.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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