Estonian job seekers are very interested in guidance and job counselling, Küllike Arend, a career guide of Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fond (EUIF) says. For example at the Tallinn department of EUIF 1200 job seekers are currently on the waiting list for counselling and have to wait for up to two months for reception. Two months is long time in this case but the four counsellors in Tallinn EUIF department can each consult only 600 people per month.
15 counsellors would be sufficient for Tallinn, Küllike Arend says. But she adds that the psychologists of EUIF have also helped the counsellors in guiding job seekers and this has helped to soften the problems. Secondly many career counselling centres for pupils and students in the fifteen counties of Estonia offer guidance to younger job seekers (under 26 years)from time to time.
Social projects have been helpful, too, Eva Rebas, another career guide of EUIF adds. People have written projects and organized art, sport and language courses for job seekers. Unemployed people tend to become isolated despite of the big number of them in Estonia, and these social projects bring job seekers out of their homes and help them keep a positive state of mind. For instance language courses where young people learn Russian, older people learn English, people willing to work in Finland study Finnish – and all of them are happy to learn.
What are the job seekers interested in
Job seekers who have previously been specialists are most of all interested in establishing their own small businesses and many of them have succeeded with the help of consultation. The EUIF also offers financial support for new small businesses.
Young job seekers are often interested in learning. Many of them have previously left school in order to earn money as construction workers etc. After losing their jobs they want to continue their studies. Some vocational schools have organized free courses especially for these young people.
Many job seekers especially workers also need counselling in self-representation: how to do job interviews, write CV etc. Estonian culture generally values modesty and thus many people think it is impolite to tell about one’s good qualities. Counselling can be helpful in constructing a positive self-representation.