TALLINN - The Estonian utility company wants to import about 150 skilled laborers from Belarus and the Ukraine, the Estonian daily Postimees reported on Oct. 18.
"Between 2008 and 2010, considering a number of planned investment projects, we are going to need about 100-150 guest workers," Margus Udams, a representative from the Eesti Energia controlled sister company Jaotusvork, told the daily.
The company mainly needs electricians, he added. Since electrician salaries in Latvia and Lithuania are comparatively high, Udams does not see attracting guest workers from these countries as beneficial. However, workers from Belarus and the Ukraine are happy with Jaotusvork's wages.
At present, the company has 800 openings for electricians, and in recent months turnover has reached 10 percent. The company is in need of electricians that have at least two years experience in order to perform the required work.
To attract workers, Jaotusvork plans on increasing electrician wages by 10 percent, raising their pre-tax pay to approximately 10,000 kroons (639 euros) a month.
The guest workers will be brought in to complete Eesti Energia's plans to upgrade their electrical transmission network, which is expected to cost 1 to 1.5 billion kroons per year. The upgrade is planned to be completed by 2013. The company does not foresee a continued need for guest workers after the project is complete.
Estonia is experiencing a general labor shortage. Businesses estimate that they will need more than 100,000 new workers between 2005 and 2011. One of the solutions proposed to solve this labor shortage is inviting guest workers.