The new internship program promotes diversity in the public sector

The Integration Foundation will start an internship program in November, within the framework of which various ministries, the Government Office and the Office of Chancellor of Justice are going to provide internships to students with a mother tongue other than Estonian. The aim of the program is to introduce job opportunities in public institutions to young people and to encourage them to apply for public sector positions in the future.

"In the public sector, as well as in the labour market in general, more and more attention is paid to the diversification of the staff. Higher share of employees of other nationalities in the public sector helps to shape a policy that involves various target groups and at the same time takes more into account the socio-cultural specifics of different people," said Piret Hartman, Deputy Chancellor of Cultural Diversity at the Ministry of Culture. "As of last year, according to the civil service report, 10.3% of employees of other nationalities are employed in state authorities, while only 2.8% in ministries. That is why the program focuses mainly on increasing the attractiveness of ministries as future places of work among young people," Piret Hartman added.

For the program, they have put together traineeship offers on recruitment and criminal policy, child-friendly administration of justice, civil society and employment issues, comprehensively and diversely introducing the work of the public sector. For example, the internship offered by the Ministry of Education and Research covers international relations in the fields of education, science and youth policy. The task of the intern will be to map the current situation, develop contacts, find new points and topics for cooperation, assess the potential for their realisation in the areas of interest to Estonia.

The special feature of the internship program is that in addition to completing the internship, the interns get the opportunity to participate in self-development training that will help them to better prepare for their future careers. Internship providers can take part in internship design workshops, which address, among other things, the issue of diversity in a working team.

The internship format foresees both team work and work performed independently, involving the intern as much as possible in the daily work organisation of the institutions. Based on the needs of the interns, there is a possibility for flexible working hours as well as remote work. Students of various fields who have a mother tongue other than Estonian can apply. The prerequisites are very good Estonian language skills, interest in the field, a proactive attitude and readiness for exciting challenges.

"Often young people do not dare to apply for jobs in state agencies and ministries because they are not sure whether their skills and knowledge match the needs of the public sector. The internship for students with a mother tongue other than Estonian is a good opportunity to put themselves to the test, get acquainted with the state system, start a career, and become convinced that the public sector values skills and personal qualities, not the foreign accent strength,” said Irene Käosaar, Director of the Integration Foundation.

Find out more about the internship offers and application conditions on the program website