“My first job”, is an European Social Fund (ESF) funded service led by Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund. The service consists of salary support and reimbursement of training costs.
“My First Job” service aims to encourage young people to return to the labour market and thus reduce youth unemployment.
The service supports the recruitment of young people classified as NEETs, in the age group of 16-29. For 1 year, The Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund provides 50% of the NEETs salary to the employer every month. In addition, the service compensates the necessary training costs of NEETS in the amount of 2500 euros during 2 years.
The criteria to participate under the service include:
- The young person must be aged between 16-29 and registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund
- Work Experience of the NEET:
- has not been employed in the last 3 months or has been temporarily employed for less than 30 days during that period
- has no work experience or is short-lived (has been working for less than a year in the last three years or has worked for less than two years)
- the NEET must be awarded a fixed-term contract of at least one year.
Employers are more willing to recruit young people because the amount of money that is returned is bigger. For example, thanks to this program one NEET from the island of Saaremaa got to work for the EU Innovation Club, which deals with LED street lighting.
“My first job” service started on January 1, 2015 and at that time the conditions were much stricter than now. The NEETs had to be in the age of 17-29 and they were not allowed to have higher education, they had to have been enlisted in the Unemployment Insurance Fund for at least 4 months and the employer had to conclude a fixed-term contract for at least 2 years with the NEET. As of September 1, 2017 these terms have changed. Before this change only 800 NEETs were employed with salary support, but from September 1, 2017 to December 31, 2018 almost 1400 NEETs were employed.
The faster is the return of NEETs to the job market, the less there is a need for unemployment benefits, subsistence benefits and other measures that are needed to help the target group. The long term benefits are wider societal impacts.