DANDELION's Barcamp "Pain and gain of becoming an adult in Estonia and Europe"


DANDELION's Barcamp "Pain and gain of becoming an adult in Estonia and Europe"

DANDELION's Barcamp "Pain and gain of becoming an adult in Estonia and Europe" was organised by CIVITTA Estonia, on 12th of August 2017, in the popular Opinion Festival held annually in Paide, Estonia.

The discussion brought together social scientists from Tallinn University, Horizon 2020 project EXCEPT, SME representatives and young people who discussed what are the problems that young are facing in entering the labour market and how to improve that transition.

Key take aways

Young people find, that education is not valued enough in the job market and there are many occasions when the young have to accept jobs below their qualifications. The problem is even more acute in smaller cities and rural areas. The companies also have too high expectations and only hire people with previous experience.

The entrepreneurs find that the young are often overqualified and with high expectations towards work organisation (e.g. more flexibility) and salaries, but lack the skills needed on the job market and working habit.

The social scientists from EXCEPT explain, that the statistics show, that people with higher education have smaller unemployment rates and emphasize the role of families during acquiring education as well as searching for suitable job.

All agree, that there might be a mismatch of what is taught in universities and what is needed in the job market.

From the discussion the following suggestions arise:

- The educational institutions should increase the share of practical studies in their programmes. A good example to consider would be the Scandinavian system, where there is more internship and practical exercises

- The educational institutions should offer more career planning related subjects/services

- The educational institutions should encourage and assist young people in finding places for volunteer work in their fields to get initial working experience and working habits

- The young should take more action than just sending out CVs. Personal phonecalls and initiative gives better results than „active waiting“.

- Good way to get a job is through internships. It is an excellent chance to show your merits to the employer.

- There is value in networking – join a sorority and find your future employer from there, do volunteer work or even take courses outside your field

- Entrepreneurship is also a possibility to consider.