500 foreign ICT workers needed in Estonia next year

Sander Nõmmik
Author Sander Nõmmik

The Estonian government is planning on bringing at least 500 new people working in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector to Estonia under the “Work in Estonia” program next year, Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Urve Palo (SDE) said on Tuesday.

In accordance with the action plan for bringing in foreigners, at least 8,000 specialists from other countries will have found work in Estonia by 2020, of whom at least 2,000 top specialists will be working in the ICT sector, spokespeople for the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications said.

Palo said that ten years from now, almost one-tenth fewer people will be living in Estonia and there will be 60,000 fewer employees. The greatest shortfall, according to the forecast, will be seen in ICT top level specialists; there will also be difficulties finding top technology specialists and doctors.

“We will put significant emphasis on bringing ICT specialists here in the first place,” Palo said. “As demand for them is very high, they are exempted from the quota and their pay significantly exceeds the Estonian average, sometimes even many times over. We are planning to lure at least 500 new workers in the ICT field to Estonia in 2018 already.”

She emphasized that in addition to attracting specialists to Estonia, their adaptation in the country is important for the specialist and society as a whole alike and must definitely be addressed as well.

“In addition to basic needs, we must also pay attention to additional needs, such as language learning, cultural traditions, and healthcare services, in order for it to be easier and more convenient for a foreigner to live in Estonia,” Palo said, adding that families’ needs must also be taken into account.