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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Sunday, 09.08.2020, 02:48

Estonian minister looking to exempt engineers, researchers from immigration quota

BC, Tallinn, 18.12.2018.Print version
Estonia's Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Rene Tammist has made a proposal to the minister of the interior to exempt engineers and researchers from the immigration quota, reported LETA/BNS.

Scarce supply on the labor market and high wage costs have led to a situation where Estonian companies are not able to hire research and development personnel. Therefore, in order to increase Estonia's research and development potential, the possibility to involve  researchers and engineers from outside of the European Union needs to be expanded. This in particular concerns specific sectors of the industry, such as chemical industry and mechanical engineering, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said. 

"Well educated foreign specialists creating high value-added for Estonia are necessary for the development of Estonia in the areas where there are few suitable specialists or none altogether in Estonia. The new technologies used in business require also people with corresponding qualification," Tammist said in a press release.

Estonia has set movement towards research intensive economy as a goal for itself. In 2017, in total 4,251 full-time researchers and engineers worked in Estonia, of them 1,162 in the business sector. In 2011, more than 6,000 researchers and engineers were in employment in Estonia. 

"Simultaneously, we need to expand the opportunities of Estonian researchers to find employment in solving practical tasks at businesses. A mandate to continue working with these solutions was given also by the governmental committee on economic development at its sitting on Tuesday," the minister said.

Estonia stands out for a low ratio of research workers also in EU statistics. In Estonia, workers of the field of research and development made up 0.88 percent of the workforce in 2016, compared to the EU average ratio of 1.24%. In Finland and Sweden the ratio was more than three times the ratio for Estonia.

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