Enterprise Estonia (EE), Mainor AS, the Ministry of the Interior, the Tax and Customs Board, the Integration Foundation, the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Police and Border Guard Board and the city of Tallinn entered into a cooperation agreement under which the International House of Estonia will be opened by the end of this year in Ülemiste City where foreign specialists can get all the information about the services provided by the state and the city from one place.
According to the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology, Rene Tammist, it is an excellent cooperation project. “I am glad to see how the cooperation of very different parties creates something truly necessary. One part of attracting the required qualified workforce to Estonia is what the people who have got an experience here take back with them to the whole wide world. The International House facilitates the functioning of senior specialists in a foreign place which is why its effect on the reputation of Estonia cannot be underestimated – the word travels and people tell of great experiences. However, the services of the House are also beneficial to expatriate Estonians who return to Estonia and require assistance settling back in,” said Tammist.
“There is a shortage of senior specialists everywhere and Estonia is competing with all the other European states in attracting talents to the country. The establishment of the International House will help to further cement the notion of Estonia as a country where procedures are easy and it may tip the scales in our favour in the decision-making process of the foreign talent,” said Chairman of the Board of EE, Alo Ivask.
Mainor AS that develops Ülemiste city, where over a thousand foreigners go to work every day, has felt the need for the International House for a long time and was also one of the initiators of this idea. “Foreign specialists who come to work here are no longer required to run between different institutions across the city, instead, they get all their required services and advice from one place. This is certainly a big deal for very many Estonian enterprises with high added value whose success depends on the smooth hiring of foreign workforce. We believe that simple procedures help to make the working and living environment of Estonia so desirable that increasingly more senior specialists wish to move to Estonia,” said Chairman of the Management Board of Mainor, Kadi Pärnits. “The establishment of the International House is an excellent example of the cooperation of the state and private enterprise,” Pärnits added.
The services of the International House are also required by employers who hire specialists from abroad. According to Chief Product Officer of technology company Topia, Sten Tamkivi, getting things in order with a freshly hired foreigner takes up a lot of the company’s time: “Estonian start-ups are creating 30% more jobs than in the previous year for several years in a row already. Since international talents also move to Estonia with this growth of tempo, entrepreneurs have to specifically spend time on finding them a general practitioner, helping put their kids to a school or teaching them to declare taxes. The faster a foreign specialist gets acclimated in the working environment, they faster they are able to commence working. And thereby, the faster they get to be a member of the Estonian society who gratefully contributes to it,” said Tamkivi.
The International House provides different services to foreign specialists coming to work in Estonia, for example, with the help of an official from the Tallinn Vital Statistics Office, a foreigner can register their place of residence and create an Estonian personal identification code. In addition, both the Integration Foundation and advisers from the city of Tallinn provide information about general practitioners, vacancies in kindergartens and schools and language learning, the migration adviser from the Police and Border Guard Board helps to prepare residence permit documents and the Tax and Customs Board will be offering group consultations on the topic of taxes. The Unemployment Insurance Fund offers career counselling to the life partners of the specialists and it is also possible to participate in the Welcoming programme training course of the Ministry of the Interior. According to the director of the Integration Foundation, Irene Käosaar, people are able to better their lives by having the necessary information and an action plan. “With the help of an adviser, we make the acclimation and integration of foreign specialists in Estonia faster and certainly more convenient as well. They can safely turn to our adviser with all their questions,” said Käosaar.
The opening of the International House of Estonia is led by the EE programme Work in Estonia and is done in cooperation with Mainor AS. The House has been financed through the ICT development programme of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications.
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