Estonian Refugee Council's program helps people with refugee backgrounds enter job market

  • 2024-05-13
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - The Estonian Refugee Council has launched a new employment program in Estonia and Latvia, aimed at job seekers with a refugee background, which provides support for those looking to enter the labor market as well as for those seeking opportunities to advance their careers.

Veronika Saarevali, the head of Estonian Refugee Council's counseling program, described practical activities such as role-playing, job interview simulations, and group interviews as essential components of the program. These activities help participants apply their acquired knowledge and skills in real-life situations.

"Our goal is to support job seekers with refugee backgrounds in adapting to new conditions by helping them enter the labor market and maximize their potential. The program offers participants diverse opportunities to develop their skills and receive the necessary support to succeed in the new country," Saarevali said.

In addition, the program offers opportunities for internships and job shadowing, involving various employers to broaden participants' horizons and prepare them for successful entry into the labor market. In the current highly competitive job market, it is crucial for job seekers with refugee backgrounds to have the necessary skills and knowledge to find suitable employment and adapt successfully to new circumstances.

Participants in the program can take part in training sessions consisting of five modules. The first module provides an overview of the application process and job search opportunities, introducing important documents and various CV submission platforms. Subsequent modules cover an overview of national labor market policies, personality support, psychological assistance, and the interview process and its stages.

The program welcomes job seekers with refugee backgrounds who are either under the age of 25 or older than 55 years, who wish to enter the labor market or progress to a more suitable position. In total, 144 individuals can participate in the program in Estonia throughout the year, with one group of 12 participants starting each month.

In addition to the Estonian Refugee Council, partners in the project include the Latvian organization Shelter "Safe House," the Estonian Labor Inspectorate, and the Latvian Labor Inspectorate. The program will be implemented from June 2024 to July 2025. 

The program is funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Program with the assistance of the European Regional Development Fund.

Estonian Refugee Council is a non-profit organization established in 2000 and certified by the European Union as a humanitarian aid organization operating in the public interest. Its mission is to advocate for the rights and well-being of refugees in Estonia and beyond.