EURES: A job search is ALWAYS FREE

Specialists of the European system of labor mediation EURES note that interest in finding work abroad is declining. Nevertheless, the shortage of specialists in European countries still exists. In the next couple of years, they plan to solve the problem by involving non-citizens with EU permanent residents status.

The peak of interest in finding work abroad fell in 2004, now there is already a decline.

The European labor mediation system EURES, which is a kind of transitional link implementing Eurodirectives on the local labor market, recently held the first Russian-language information day in the capital. The participants were mainly interested in the issues of movement in the Schengen zone of those who do not have EU citizenship, and job opportunities in Europe.

– We spent the first day in Russian in Tallinn in Tallinn – the reason has been that recently many EU stateless people have come to our specialists with questions about job opportunities in Europe, as well as that some changes have occurred due to the accession of our country to the Schengen zone, ”says Martes Trucks, EURES Lead Specialist. – One of the priorities of EURES for the coming years is just to inform not only citizens, but also permanent residents of the EC about employment opportunities, living and working conditions in the EU countries. The second equally important priority is to inform employers who are short of labor on the possibilities of the European labor market.

So, in addition to the information day, the main materials have already begun to be translated into Russian on the website of the Estonian representative office of EURES – On February 1, an information day about Schengen will be held in Narva, February 15-16 – as part of the student exhibition “Intelligence” in Tartu.

Leveling trend

As of May 1, 2004, when Estonia was among the 10 newcomers to the EU, unemployment was very different in European labor markets. Today there is a tendency to level out the situation. And the problem of labor shortages in certain areas is becoming common for all EU countries – for example, everywhere there are not enough welders, medical workers, builders, seasonal workers.

If there are enough opportunities to get information about options for working abroad in Estonian, then in Russian it is not so much. Recruiting workers abroad is not a priority for us, Martha Trucks explains.

In general, 6 EURES specialists work in the regional offices of the Estonian Labor Market Department. They provide information on the countries of the European Economic Community: o the situation on the labor market; o the availability of jobs and addresses on the Internet for their search; about living and working conditions. Last year, EURES specialists gave 7880 consultations. Initial information on job search opportunities in the EU states can be obtained at all regional offices of the Labor Market Department throughout Estonia. And all this is for free.

Not the little things

The answer to the question that is of concern to many today is, in general terms, this way: in connection with joining Schengen, nothing has changed in matters of employment. If you are a citizen of Russia or Ukraine and are a permanent resident of Estonia, you can work in Europe if you wish. But for this you need to have a work permit or residence permit to work in a particular EU country.

“First of all, you need to find a specific employer, then apply for a work permit, different authorities deal with it in different countries, and this can take up to 4 months, but you cannot start working before receiving an official document,” Marta Trucks continues. – First, the services examine the situation – is it possible to find a specialist in the local labor market, and if not, they will give permission.

The main condition: the employee never pays for anything when looking for work. EURES consultations are free; the employer pays for the application for a work permit. And even if you contacted a labor rental company, the employer always pays for the selection of your staff. Another important thing that needs to be done is to get comprehensive information before you leave. On the EURES website – Estonian or European ( – you can go all the way: step by step.

EURES is sometimes accused of provoking the outflow of labor. But experts reasonably answer: if a person decided to leave, no one will keep him. It’s better if she knows where she’s going and what awaits him there. Here is such a small example: in some countries, the employee himself must go to the tax department, and if he does not, the employer can remove up to 60 percent of the tax.

There are many other important nuances: child benefits, health insurance, unemployment insurance, seniority, minimum wage and so on. And a bunch of “little things”: where is it better to settle, which school to send children to.

Reliable jobs

By the way, it is better to look for a place of work through the EURES web page. A lot of vacancies are published here – at the time of our conversation there were 1 million 258 thousand. The list is replenished every day – through the bases of state labor markets in European countries. From Finland, for example, which remains the most popular country among Estonians, only 5,680 proposals have been received in the last week – you need a welder, an elevator installer, a cosmetologist, a baker, a logistics manager, a textile technologist, a seller … All ads contain detailed information about the proposed workplace, direct contacts of the employer.

But the main plus is the reliability of these vacancies. So, if an employer from Estonia asks to put his ad in a European base, the company will first be checked in the tax department. And if there is a tax debt – explaining the reason, politely apologize and refuse. There are precedents when debts are immediately repaid – workers are so needed. EURES specialists from other countries do the same.

“If you contacted a labor rent company,” the interlocutor gives advice along the way, although EURES does not rent labor, “it makes sense to check it on the website of the tax department. If you have tax arrears, this is a warning sign. You can check in the business register – whether there is “labor intermediation” in the list of activities.

By the way, if the employer does not fulfill his promises (for example, on salary), it makes sense again to apply to EURES – in your country or in the country where you work. This organization has good relations with both state institutions and trade unions, so that it is possible to restore order very quickly.


Another interesting point – in September last year, EURES held a two-day fair in the Labor Market Department. Both EURES consultants and employers from seven European countries took part in it.

“It’s nice that people no longer asked where to find any job,” says Martha Trucks. – The questions concerned more taxes and social rights, as well as where to find competent information. This is very positive. This year we plan to invite colleagues from EURES and employers from Europe to the labor fair, which will be held at the National Library on September 26.

Estonian consultants EURES participate in similar seminars in other European countries, talking about the possibilities of working in Estonia. And not only to residents of other countries, but also to fellow citizens who once left to work abroad.

“For example, in 2004 a lot of people left for Ireland from the new EU countries, including Estonia,” explains Martha Trucks. – And in the construction, in which many of them worked, now there is no such growth. So, at labor fairs we tell them what the conditions are now in Estonia – many, arriving home, communicate with relatives and do not have time to find out work opportunities. And many listen and come back. The peak of interest in finding work abroad fell in 2004, now there is already a decline. Today, people approach the issue more consciously, deliberately – and this is precisely what we achieved.

This post is also available in: English Русский (Russian)

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