A new service for returning emigrants
At the end of 2020, the Lithuanian Public Employment Service conducted a survey among Lithuanians in the diaspora, which showed that 40.5% of emigrants consider returning to live in Lithuania. The motivating factors would be an appealing, well-paying job, and being closer to friends and relatives. Poll results also showed that Lithuanians in the diaspora often lack information about the value of returning. They look for news about the job-seeking process itself and are also concerned about the changes and uncertainties caused by the pandemic.
In July, 2021, the Employment Service initiated the project Back to Lithuania (“Gal į Lietuvą?” – literally, maybe Lithuania?) at galilietuva.lt to provide relevant information about the Lithuanian job market, employers and their requirements, and retraining possibilities.
The goal of the Back to Lithuania project is to provide information, and also continuing advice and support for the job-seeker. Events, discussions and job fairs are made available both remotely and in person. Advice is also offered regarding benefits, living and work conditions, as well as the application of skills learned abroad.
Currently the unemployment rate in Lithuania is approximately 10%, or 4% lower than last year – another draw for those who consider returning. According to the Statistics Department, the average wage has also risen by 12% since last year, and is on its way to meeting the European Union average.
Of course, a major factor encouraging emigrants to return is the proximity to relatives and just being “home”. This became even more important during the pandemic, when physical meetings were no longer possible, and emigrants began thinking about continuing their lives in the country where they were born.