CB Job Ferry Partner meeting and Expert Workshop in Tartu

On April 25th, 2012 the Steering Committee and the second Partner meeting with partners from four countries of the Project „Central Baltic Job Ferry” (CB Job Ferry) took place at the Institute of Baltic Studies, Tartu, Estonia to discuss the implementation of labour market mobility project in Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden which will result in a new cross-border labour market portal. On April 26th, 2012, the first „Central Baltic Job Ferry” (CB Job Ferry) workshop organised by the Institute of Baltic Studies took place in Tartu, Estonia to discuss Central Baltic cross-border labour mobility issues.

All project partner organizations, including the University of Latvia Centre for European and Transition Studies, the Nordregio, Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (Stockholm, Sweden), Turku University of Applied Science (Turku, Finland) and Institute of Baltic Studies (IBS) were present at the second CB Job Ferry Steering Committee meeting and the project partner meeting at the IBS in Tartu. During the meetings partners discussed the progress in implementing the project “Central Baltic Job Ferry” since its start in May, 2011, as well as further tasks. The project will result in a new cross-border labour market portal which should be launched by this fall.

At present, project partners are focusing on finalizing the cross-border labour market research in the Central Baltic region. Preliminary research findings were discussed at the meeting. The leader of the Work Package 3, which includes research work, Mr.Petri Kahila from the Nordregio stressed that labour market situation in all partner countries differs. As evidence shows the most active cross-border labour market mobility currently is between Estonia and Finland. However, taking into account economic growth trends and demographic situation in all countries, labour shortages in certain sectors can be expected which will create higher demand for qualified workers in certain professions. Also, labour mobility in Central Baltic region is hindered by several obstacles. Language and different economic situation influencing salaries of workers in different countries are among the most often mentioned labour mobility barriers.

Project partners are now at the final stage of the research identifying preliminary list of 50 the most demanded professions in each partner country, as well as preparing a common list of the most demanded professions which includes professions related to medicine, IT, metalworking and machine building, electronics, hospitality and restaurant industries, business administration, trade, different services, etc. The next step is to agree on those professions which will be introduced in the special Internet portal which will include detailed information about every profession from the list, including, labour market issues, professional qualifications and their recognition procedure, trainings, job opportunities, working conditions and legal issues in the common cross-border area between Latvia, Estonia, Finland and Sweden. Therefore, this portal will offer detailed comparable information on professional education, life-long learning opportunities and job opportunities based on professional qualifications, which will ensure better compliance of professional qualification of labour force with labour market requirements.

On April 26th, all Central Baltic Job Ferry project partners, as well as experts from European Mobility Portal EURES, Free Trade Union Confederation of Latvia, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Estonia, Tartu University, European Institute from Bulgaria, The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Finland and other organizations took part at the first CB Job Ferry workshop in Tartu.

During the workshop CB Job Ferry partners discussed preliminary findings and synthesis of cross-border mobility studies, as well as recent developments in labour markets of Estonia, Latvia, Sweden and Finland. Participants of the workshop had a chance to learn from the experience of Romania and Bulgaria in improving quality of labour mobility. This case study was presented by Dr. Borislav Mavrov from the European Institute (Bulgaria) who recently participated in implementing similar project between Romania and Bulgaria. The Finnish Occupational Barometer report introduced by Mr. Jouni Marttinen was recognized as one of the best practice examples of labour market analysis in the Central Baltic Region. This report is being conducted by the South Finland’s ELY Centre (The Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) which includes supply and demand analysis of 200 professions in Finland. The Finnish Employment Agencies regularly provide updates for this labour market research. The Occupational Barometer is unique in the Central Baltic region.

The next project meeting and the next CentralBaltic Job Ferry project workshop will take a place in Stockholm on 27 – 29 of August this year.

The project CB Job Ferry is implemented under the Central Baltic Programme Priority “Economically competitive and innovative region”, Direction of support “Optimizing the potential of the labour market”.

For more information, please contact: Ms. Zane Zeibote, Project Manager, University of Latvia, Centre for European and Transition Studies, e-mail: zzeibote@gmail.com; phone: +371 29417214

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