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EURES helps jobseekers expand their horizons
EURES Advisers organise a series of events throughout the year bringing jobseekers and companies together. EURES Portugal has taken this one step further. Since 2007, EURES Advisers there have been working closely with partners in other countries to organise a series of “country days”.
This year, EURES Portugal has organised seven different country days covering Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. So what makes country days different from other job days?
“By focusing on specific countries we can provide more detailed information to jobseekers interested in working in a particular country,” explains Ana Margarida Silva, member of the EURES management support team in Portugal and event organiser. “We also try to focus on occupations that may be of common interest for both countries. For example, occupations for which Portugal registers significant unemployment and where that particular country has a shortage of workers.”
Companies from the country are invited to give presentations, advertise job vacancies and conduct on-the-spot interviews. EURES Advisers are on hand to provide specific advice on the living and working conditions and the most effective job search media in that country. And when it comes to language skills, some country days are even supported by cultural institutions providing information on courses. “The Germany Days were supported by the Goethe Institute, the official German body responsible for promoting the German language all over the world, which was an added bonus,” explained Ana Margarida.
What about the turnout for such events? “As a rule Country Days don’t tend to be ‘mass events’, which means we can focus on providing personalised information and advice. But due to the current situation in Portugal, there has been a significant increase in the number of participants this year.”
Germany Days were the events that attracted the most interest with 600 jobseekers turning up at two separate events in Porto and Lisbon on 14and 16 June respectively. In total more than 2 100 jobseekers registered for these “days” between end-March and end-June 2011. This is six times the interest registered for similar events during 2010.
Of course, such events have also attracted much media attention with some criticising the initiative for contributing to a “brain drain”. In response Ana says: “So it’s better that our best and brightest move elsewhere in Europe, two steps from ‘home’, and contribute to EU growth and innovation than to “lose” them to inactivity or migration overseas.”
She concludes: “Many jobseekers do indeed come back to the country, sooner or later, bringing with them all their acquired expertise. Some of those returning are today the managers or directors of our most innovative research services in universities, hospitals and companies, or even members of government. Others have started their own businesses and are today generating even more job opportunities in Portugal. So, in the medium-long run, this is not necessarily a losing game.”
EURES Portugal is continuously organising country days. If you are interested to attend one please check the EURES Events Calendar
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