On 6 December, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the Republic of Latvia hosted a discussion on the access of the diaspora to information on the Latvian labour market following a presentation of a study entitled “Providing the diaspora with information on the labour market in Latvia”, carried out by the University of Latvia’s Centre for the Diaspora and Migration Studies (CDMS) with support from the Foreign Ministry.
The MFA had invited to the discussion representatives from the relevant public and non-governmental sector institutions – the State Employment Agency of Latvia (NVA), the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia (LIAA) – and an association, “With Global Experience in Latvia”.
The potential of the diaspora is underestimated and insufficiently explored under the circumstances when many sectors in Latvia are faced with staffing problems. It is vital for Latvia’s development and economic growth to attract remigrants to vacancies. The study suggests that staff shortages can be addressed through building a stronger link with those who have left the country and making information more accessible for both sides – the employer and the employee.
Research has revealed the trend of many companies being open to employing migrants. Therefore, it is vital to ensure the informational link in order to promote return to Latvia, while also addressing shortage of workforce.
The MFA’s Ambassador-at-Large for the Diaspora, Atis Sjanīts, said that the study on the access of the diaspora to information on the Latvian labour market is a logical follow-up to last year’s research on remigration. He emphasised that the availability of concrete job offers is an important factor in promoting return migration.
The CDMS Director, Inta Mieriņa, highlighted one of the main conclusions: the need for a support package enabling return migrants to reintegrate themselves into society. It is essential not only to consider the level of wages but also other related matters – the working environment and culture, taxation and social guarantees.
The NVA Deputy Director, Kristīne Stašāne, told the audience that information is currently available on approximately 13 000 vacancies. In total, 70 000 vacancies are announced on the agency’s portal annually. The agency continues to seek new information channels and improve its portal making it more accessible for a broader public, including Latvians living abroad.
Arta Krūze from the LIAA presented an overview of the agency’s activities and stressed that LIAA is making every effort to support cooperation with the diaspora in all areas of activity. For instance, the importance of human resources is taken into account when strengthening the competitiveness of companies and attraction of investments.
Jānis Kreilis, Chairman of the Board of the association of return migrants, “With Global Experience in Latvia”, said he was happy for the opportunity to work together with public institutions to break stereotypes and to apply his experience in bringing together employers and job seekers.
It was concluded in the discussions that labour shortages should be addressed through promoting return, while sustainability of the process is only possible when there is a solid foundation for that, namely, employment opportunities in Latvia. To this end, the current channels of providing information to the diaspora should be improved and new, more effective ones should be created and fresh solutions sought, for instance, designing targeted informational campaigns for specific job offers.
The study has compiled and analysed replies from 378 respondents and the results of in-depth interviews with 20 remigrants and ten employers. The findings can be especially useful for employers in various sectors experiencing staffing shortages, including companies in Latvia’s rural regions.
See here the results of the University of Latvia CDMS studies (in Latvian).
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