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Estonians favour Finland when working abroad

Helsinki (23.07.2012 - Juhani Artto) Finland is the favourite foreign country for Estonians working or planning to work abroad. Finland is mentioned as an attractive option by 43 per cent of those who are ready to work outside of Estonia. Finland is followed by Germany and Sweden. England and Norway receive a positive response from 15 per cent of "willing to work abroad" Estonians.

These figures originate from a survey made by an Estonian research company and published in May at a meeting of Estonia's and Finland's EURES network. The magazine STTK, published by the union confederation STTK, summarizes the main findings of the survey in its issue 4-2012. 

Finland is looked upon favourably by Estonians because of the similarities of Finnish and Estonian languages and because of the close proximity between the two countries and cheap fares when travelling to Southern Finland across the Gulf of Finland. The survey indicates also that positive experiences of the host country and relatives and friends living there play a significant role when heading for work abroad.

Almost half of the working age population in Estonia has a positive attitude towards working abroad. Up to 42 per cent would consider working in a foreign county. But almost the same number (39 per cent) reject this option.

According to the survey, men are more willing than women to take a job outside of Estonia. Also to be young and unmarried and to live in Estonia's largest cities Tallinn or Tartu tends to result in more positive attitudes towards working abroad than amongst those living elsewhere.

To work outside of Estonia is most often motivated by higher wages and salaries paid abroad. Three out of four mention this as the main factor when considering taking up work in foreign countries. Almost half of the "willing to work abroad" Estonians expect to earn over EUR 2,000 per month. A fifth of the respondents mention new experiences, better social security and vocational or professional challenges as being behind their desire to work abroad.