The Estonian Welcoming Programme is implemented in Tallinn, Tartu and Narva by a company, contracted by the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia. Local municipalities, universities, NGOs and entrepreneurs are considered consulting partners. In 2014, Estonia did not yet have holistic system of measures for adaption and integration of various migrant groups – while there was some support for non-citizens, most newcomers had almost no support available. As the need for labour force and number of newcomers was starting to increase in the country, the programme was developed to close this gap.
The objective of the programme is to support foreign nationals who have migrated to Estonia to settle in and to acquire primary knowledge and skills. Launched in 2015, the programme offers various informative and interactive training modules for foreign nationals. It includes a basic module that gives an overview of the Estonian society and covers the main legal aspects of residency, as well as four additional thematic modules about (1) working and entrepreneurship, (2) family life, (3) studying and (4) research. In addition, there are two separate training modules for children and young people and beneficiaries of international protection, as well as language training course (A1).