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New Employability Programme Helps Job Seekers With Refugee Backgrounds Enter Labour Market

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Estonian Refugee Council launches a new employability programme in Estonia and Latvia, aimed at job seekers with a refugee background. The programme provides support for those looking to enter the labour market as well as for those seeking opportunities to advance their careers.

According to Veronika Saareväli, the head of Estonian Refugee Council's Counselling Programme, practical activities such as role-playing, job interview simulations, and group interviews are essential components of the programme. 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 labour market and maximise their potential. The programme offers participants diverse opportunities to develop their skills and receive the necessary support to succeed in the new country," said Saareväli, elaborating further:

“In addition, the programme offers opportunities for internships or job shadowing, involving various employers to broaden participants' horizons and prepare them for successful entry into the labour 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 programme 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 labour market policies, personality support, psychological assistance, and the interview process and its stages.

The programme welcomes job seekers with refugee backgrounds who are either under the age of 25 or older than 55 years who wish to enter the labour market or progress to a more suitable position. In total, 144 individuals can participate in the programme 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 organisation “Shelter “Safe House”, the Estonian Labour Inspectorate, and the Latvian Labour Inspectorate. The programme will be implemented from June 2024 to July 2025. 

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

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