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Taking the first steps after graduationUpon finishing their studies, graduates Agne and Remigijus from Klaipeda, Lithuania, decided they would like to gain some work experience in a country where they could enhance their language skills and earn a good salary. While browsing the Internet, Agne came across EURES and decided to get in touch with local EURES Adviser Margarita Mankute. A short while later, Agne and Remigijus found themselves starting a new adventure in Norway, working for a contract cleaning company in a ski resort in Hemsedal, approximately 230 kilometres from Oslo.
Agne and Remigijus had already decided to focus their jobseeking on Norway when they went to see Margarita. Due to the country’s current economic stability and high wages, not to mention the fact that it is a beautiful country, it was an easy destination to choose. Upon meeting the pair, Margarita provided them with information on living and working in Norway, and explained to them the best way of developing their CVs and writing cover letters.
Margarita says that the Nordic countries are very popular with young Lithuanians looking to spend time abroad: “For further studying, Finland is very attractive due to the high quality of education and the availability of courses taught through English; for work, the focus tends to be on Norway for the attractive conditions”. Therefore, Margarita was used to supplying information on these countries and was able to provide the couple with a list of potential Norwegian employers with whom she had established contacts.
After a short period of jobseeking, Agne and Remigijus received offers from their current employer, a company hired to provide cleaning services to a ski resort in the town of Hemsedal. The couple took the offer to Margarita, who in turn sent the details to a Norwegian EURES colleague in order to verify the offer. Everything looked good, so the pair accepted the offer and prepared for the move – including taking Norwegian lessons before leaving.
This has proven to be the perfect opportunity; it has enabled them to get experience in their ideal destination while practicing their language skills. It also provides an opportunity to earn and save money – this being particularly important for Agne who, having graduated from the Vyatautas Magnus University in Kaunas, will be completing a Masters degree in Law when she returns to Lithuania. For now, the pair are planning to stay with their current employer until the end of the skiing season in June. Both Agne and Remigijus have settled easily in Norway: “It’s a beautiful country with friendly people – we’ve had no problems settling in at all!” says Agne. And they are determined to integrate even more into Norwegian culture by teaching themselves Norwegian.
The success of Agne and Remigijus is particularly encouraging given the high Lithuanian youth unemployment rate. Margarita says she sees a lot of young jobseekers looking for opportunities abroad, and she is happy to help them as much as she can. “I mainly provide information on seasonal work to people who would like experience abroad but are not sure how long they want to be away for, and information on studying opportunites elsewhere in Europe for those who want to further their education. The jobseekers I see generally have a very high level of English so language is not a problem”. Margarita spends quite a bit of time visiting local higher education institutions and secondary schools, in order to present information on mobility, the opportunities available elsewhere in Europe, and how EURES can help young jobseekers.
Therefore consulting a local EURES Adviser should be a first step for all young people who, like Agne and Remigijus, are considering their next move after graduation.