The Employment programme for 2017-20, revised by the government in autumn 2016, stipulates a package of new measures for workers at risk of unemployment. The goal of the additional continuous training and retraining measures is to prevent unemployment, also supporting structural changes in the economy.

The desired outcome is that individuals would be encouraged to move to jobs that create more added value and workers who are likely to become unemployed would retain their employment. The main target group are workers with no professional/vocational education or whose skills are outdated, workers whose knowledge of Estonian is poor, and those who are older than 50. The package of new measures will also support workers who cannot continue their present employment due to health issues.

Three new measures will be launched starting from May 2017. A study allowance scheme will support participation in VET and higher education, while those at risk of unemployment will be given access to labour market training by a training voucher. In addition to direct support to employees, the development of skills will also be supported by compensating 50-100% of the training costs to employers. Employers can apply for a training grant to support their workers in adapting to the changes in business processes, in technology or changes in formal qualification requirements. They can also use the grant to equip recruited employees in bottleneck vacancies with essential skills (change and recruitment training scheme). 

Evidence from a system of forecasting labour force and skills supply and demand (OSKA) will be used to determine eligible curricula in formal education and in labour market training.

The Employment programme for 2017-20 will be implemented by the Estonian unemployment fund.