It is not the first time around that Portuguese workers have sought to pursue a career abroad. But as opposed to the often haphazard migration of the 1960s, EURES is now on hand to give workers a good start to their European career before they make the move, bringing together both employers and crucial mobility information under one roof: The European Job Days in Lisbon.
With EURES Advisers from 15 countries and 44 companies present at the event 25 and 26 October, together hoping to fill around 1 000 vacancies, there were no lack of options for the 9 908 attending jobseekers. The Job Days had a special focus on jobs within engineering and Information Technology (IT) on the first day; and on the second day construction and healthcare.
“Many of the Portuguese jobseekers of today saw their relatives pack their bags to live and work in another country in the 1960s. This has certainly left some traces in attitudes towards labour mobility; being both a feasible and attractive career option. And, more importantly perhaps, a great awareness of the determination it takes to be a mobile worker, notably language skills,” explains Alice Brandão, deputy EURES Manager in Portugal.
A survey among participating jobseekers showed that around 80 % had a university degree and there was no lack of language or professional skills: “I have 10 years of experience as an electrical engineer. Why am I looking for a job? Well I guess it’s the possibility of a better job, higher salary and more security that appeals to me. I would like to go to Germany, Denmark or Norway,” says João Castro, from Lisbon.
“I’m an architect but since the construction sector in Portugal is very weak right now, I am looking for opportunities in other countries. Two years ago I worked in Brazil, so I know what it takes to be a mobile worker. But thanks to cheap flights and Skype [online communication software], it’s easy to stay in contact with family and friends,” says Ana Mestre, another jobseeker participating in the event.
The employers attending the event were positive: “We’re looking for IT developers and for us this Job Day was very useful, since both the skills level and the language level of the candidates were very good,” concludes Nick Bukers, Service Delivery Manager at Aarixa, a Belgian IT development.