TALLINN – Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt on Thursday briefed the government on the 2022-2025 action plan for attracting external talent under the Work in Estonia program, according to which the program will focus not only on IT specialists but also on supporting the recruitment of engineers and specialists in natural and exact sciences in general.
Increasing the involvement of foreign talent is one of the strategic objectives to alleviate the shortage of skilled labor in the fields of information and communication technology and natural sciences and science, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.
"Global competition to attract top talent will only increase in the coming years, and Estonia needs to be attractive to talent. Estonian university graduates will cover only a third of the manufacturing industry's needs for engineers in the next decade, so recruiting from abroad is essential for companies," Sutt said according to the spokespeople.
The minister said it is also necessary to continue attracting ICT specialists to Estonia, because the shortage of ICT specialists is wider and affects not only IT companies or the seed sector, but also industry, for example.
"Alleviating labor shortages is essential for the digital, green and innovation transitions, so that the Estonian economy can grow smartly and sustainably and emerge among the best in the world," he said.
Anneli Aab, head of the Work in Estonia program run by the joint organization of Enterprise Estonia (EAS) and Kredex, said that Work in Estonia, in cooperation with partners, will continue its work to strengthen Estonia's global visibility, develop a national strategy for attracting talent and public attitudes within the country.
"We will continue to carry out various studies to identify and improve bottlenecks from the perspective of both foreign talent coming to Estonia and companies interested in foreign recruitment. We want to offer the best possible support to both foreign talent and companies interested in recruiting abroad," Aab said.
The goal is that by 2025, with the direct impact of the activities of Work in Estonia, at least 3,000 high-paid foreign talents would have been added in the fields of information and communication technology and natural and exact sciences, and that Estonia's position as an attractive country of residence and employment in international benchmarking would be higher than in 2020.
The state budget will receive at least 26 million euros in revenue in the form of direct taxes, plus indirect tax revenue.
"To play at world level, we need world-class players. Looking at the current trends, Estonia will need no less than thousands of new top-level engineers in the coming years to take our industry forward," said Otto Pukk, chairman of the council of the Estonian Electronics Industry Association.
Pukk said that as someone working in an international electronics industry company, he sees how fast the electronics industry is developing and what immense opportunities this offers to Estonia. Both the use of electronic equipment and the integration of electronics into consumer products are growing at an enormous rate, with production moving more and more from Asia to Europe.
"So we need to make the most of the windfall of opportunities, take forward engineering education at home and also allow engineers from other parts of the world to join our world-class teams," Pukk added.
The aim of the Work in Estonia program, incepted in 2015, is to make Estonia an attractive place to work in for foreign talent and for Estonian companies to have the necessary skilled workforce. To this end, companies operating in Estonia are supported in hiring and retaining foreign specialists, offering services from finding foreign talent to supporting the relocation and acclimatization of them and their companions and family.
In 2018, the International House was established in the Ulemiste campus as the Work in Estonia service center, which provides reception and adaptation services to foreign talent and advice to employers on foreign recruitment. The service center offers services in cooperation between Work in Estonia, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Culture, the Police and Border Guard Board, the Tax and Customs Board, the City of Tallinn, the Integration Foundation, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund and Mainor AS.