Skilled and motivated talent pool

The Latvian labour force is multi-lingual and relatively well educated, ready to take on new challenges and is highly motivated. Countries with better-trained or better-motivated workforces than Latvia are few and far between. Latvians take pride in having strong work ethics being an integral part of Northern European culture, while at the same time having an extensive experience and knowledge of doing business with Russia.

Higher education

Latvian labour force has one of the highest rates of university attendance in the world. In 2018/2019 there were 80 355 students attending 54 higher education institutions, 2 of which are branches of foreign universities.  At the same time in 46 professional education institutions around Latvia were 27 161 students.

The four largest universities – Riga Technical University, University of Latvia, Riga Stradins University and Latvia University of Agriculture – enroll more than half of the students of Latvia. Latvia is 7th in the world according to the number of new entrants to bachelor programms studying STEM (Education at a Glance, 2019). Latvia’s research institutes specialize in fields as diverse as radio astronomy, life sciences, physics, logistics and telecommunications. 

Technical and vocational skills

Main university for technical sciences is Riga Technical University. In Latvia there are more than 12 626 students studying in higher education programs for engineering, electronics, metalworking, etc. and also in vocational education programs.

Cultural and language skills

Latvia’s history has prepared its workforce with knowledge of business and cultural norms that enable partnership particularly with Russia and other CIS partners, as well as with western European countries. According to the results of Eurobarometer research, Latvia ranks 2nd among European states for the percentage of residents, who in addition to their mother tongue can speak at least one foreign language: 95% of Latvia’s residents are fluent in some foreign language and 54% can speak at least two foreign languages (1st highest score). 13% can speak at least three foreign languages. Moreover 44% of respondents acknowledge that they speak a foreign language on a daily basis – at work or in their private lives. 

The majority of adults (59%) know Russian, 60% know English, but 18% of the population knows German. Scandinavian languages are also widely spoken.

Training incentives

Latvia’s government recognizes the importance of training programs for improving the skills of the workforce, and thus offers various incentives for employers to provide training to potential hires and current employees.

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