Raivo Raigna, Virumaa Teataja
Due to the gradual recovery of the economy, the labour market is also showing signs of recovery since companies that have been able to increase their export volumes are creating new jobs.
Tamsalu EPT, a company mainly engaged in metal works, has received orders from its partners in Norway and Finland in the recent months and, thus, the company has employed three new welders. 85% of the production of this company is exported.
“We mainly manufacture actuators and buckets for excavators intended for the Norwegian and Finnish markets and the clients’ quality demands for our production are high. The three men that we hired are experienced welders who know their job,” said Valdo Simonlatser, the Manager of the company.
He added that more responsible persons with occupational skills will find work when the economy recovers. “There have never been enough skilled workers and they have always been needed,” said Simonlatser.
Skilled workers in demand
Temper is a family business operating in Vohnja. The business owns a large equipment park which allows to prepare large-scale metal structures as well as to perform turning, milling and welding works using various materials and technologies. Due to the increase in export volumes, the business has also hired three new workers in the past 1.5 months. A turner, a lathe operator and a production worker were offered jobs.
Raivo Ruuto, a member of the Management Board, said that orders from both Finnish and Swedish markets have increased. “We manufacture constructional metal structures for Finnish clients and ball valves for the Swedish market,” said Ruuto. Increase in export gives the company a sense of economic security for the future and, therefore, the company is also looking for an additional welder.
Group E-Betoonelement Marek Prees, the Production Manager of substructure elements and hollow core slabs, said that executing the orders of foreign partners has increased the number of employees by 20 persons in the past months.
“We have hired skilled workers who manufacture reinforced concrete wall and façade systems and substructure elements. 80% of the production in this manufacturing sector is exported and executing orders placed by foreign partners has nurtured the economic activities of the whole group,” said Marek Prees. Orders for wall panels are mainly placed by Finnish companies.
“We produce substructure elements for the Murmansk nuclear waste facility. Executing this large-scale order provides us with work for the next year as well,” said Prees. He added that despite the economic crisis, construction activity near St. Petersburg is thriving and local companies are interested in their production. This creates hope that export volumes will continue to increase and ensures a job for the employees of the company.
Support from the banking sector
Meelis Annus, the Head of the Agriculture Sector at Swedbank, said that the economy is recovering from the crisis and positive developments in the banking sector are one of the proofs of this. Swedbank Estonia’s profit for the second quarter was EEK 108 million.
Annus said that the times of lay-offs in the banking sector have passed and people are being hired again to bank offices in Tallinn and other regions.
“Since business activity is perking up, the banking sector mainly needs business customer managers. This is also the case in the sector that I am responsible of,” explained Annus.
Annus said that loan applications that are well thought through and have been filed by companies with an appropriate cash flow have received and will continue to receive a positive answer from the bank. He assured that selling production in export markets provides companies a great advantage when applying for a loan.
In May 2010, most Estonian production was sold to:
1) Finland – EEK 1,930 million;
2) Sweden – EEK 1,414 million;
3) Latvia – EEK 980 million;
4) Russia – EEK 932 million;
5) USA – EEK 887 million.