State offer work-experience to students with mother tongues other than Estonian

In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Finance, the Integration Foundation is launching a work-experience programme in November in the course of which a variety of state agencies will be offering work placements to students with mother tongues other than Estonian. The aim of the programme is to showcase employment opportunities in state agencies to the students and to encourage them to apply for positions in the public sector in the future.

“There are people of lots of different ethnicities in Estonia, but they only account for around 3% of the staff in our ministries,” explained Ministry of Culture Deputy Secretary-General for Cultural Diversity Piret Hartman. “That means the state’s ability to make decisions that take all of Estonia’s residents into account is significantly limited. The more varied the backgrounds of everyone who works in the public sector, the more broad-ranging our policies will be, and the more they’ll take the needs of society as a whole into consideration. We encourage all youngsters who meet the criteria to apply to take part and make their voices heard!”

Work-experience places will be offered to young people with mother tongues other than Estonian by the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the National Foundation of Civil Society and the Integration Foundation. They will be taking on duties related to civil society, equality and recruitment policy, business diplomacy, the economy and other fields.

The places available and the terms for applying can be found online at

Applications are open to students from a variety of fields of study whose mother tongue is a language other than Estonian. Applicants must speak very good Estonian, have an interest in the field in question, be proactive in dealing with others and be prepared to take on exciting challenges.

The work experience will involve both independent and team tasks, with the participants being included in as much of the day-to-day work of the institutions as possible. Flexitime and remote working options will be available upon agreement. In addition to the experience the work placements provide, those taking part will also get the chance to attend training courses that will help them more effectively prepare for their future careers.

“The programme’s a springboard for youngsters who are interested in finding out what working in the public sector is like but aren’t sure whether they have the skills and knowledge needed for it,” said Integration Foundation director Irene Käosaar. “We encourage students to get involved in the programme, as it will really open up their plans for the future. It’s a win-win situation, because by them taking part, the state sector also finds out how young people in Estonia whose mother tongues are languages other than Estonian view the field.”

The programme is being run for the second time. Earlier this year, a total of 13 students with Russian, German and Turkish as their mother tongues discovered what it was like to work in the Government Office, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice and a variety of ministries.