|Why this country?
|Austria - why work abroad?
Compact yet varied, traditional yet modern, cultured yet adventurous, Austria is rich in lifestyle options; from the elegance of Vienna in the north to a flavour of the Mediterranean and the mountains in the south. A Mecca for winter-sports enthusiasts, the country is probably most renowned as a historic music capital, thanks to the patronage of the Habsburg dynasty.
The Austrian economy has been recovering since a decline in 2009. There is work available for those who have completed specialist apprenticeships, such as electrical fitters, pipe fitters, lathe operators, bricklayers, carpenters and joiners. There is also demand for workers in tourism, as well as in the hotel and catering sector. The same goes for sales staff and shop assistants.
|Belgium - why work abroad?
Home to EU institutions and other international organisations, Belgium is affluent and multilingual. The Dutch-speaking Flemish north has coastal resorts, the historic cities of Bruges and Ghent and the vibrant port city of Antwerp. To the south, the Frenchspeaking Wallonia has dense forest, remote heathland and a more relaxed way of life. Brussels is a melting pot of the two cultures and a large international community.
Employee shortages vary by region with many vacancies unfilled, particularly in Wallonia and Brussels. This is due in part to a mismatch between jobseekers' profiles and what employers require. Most jobs are in the services or public sector. There is also consistent demand for healthcare, IT, primary education professionals, domestic cleaners, sales staff, and office workers.
|Bulgaria - why work abroad?
Sun-lovers flock to the Black Sea coast's beaches, while the more adventurous can hike the rugged mountains and forests still roamed by lynx, bears and other rare wildlife. History fans can view plentiful Roman remains and get acquainted with the ancient Thracians, a prehistoric tribe known for their metalworking, horsemanship and artistic culture.
Bulgaria has seen strong economic growth since it joined the EU in 2007. However, it still has high levels of unemployment and low wages for Europe. There may be more opportunities for entrepreneurs, while many multinational corporations require staff for their growing business interests. Most jobs are in the services sector, followed by manufacturing and agriculture. The hotel business and tourism are sectors with a significant demand for workers.
'Bulgaria is a good country to live and work in. Hospitable and respectful of those from other countries, its people are open, frank and warm. The countryside is very beautiful, the climate is good, there is a vibrant cultural life - and the wine and cuisine are excellent!'
Elena Vidinska, EURES Adviser, Bulgaria
|Croatia - why work abroad?
Too many visitors to Croatia by pass Zagreb, a capital with elegant Austro - Hungarian architecture, a lively arts scene, excellent shopping and countless pubs. But the millions of tourists who flock to Croatia each year could equally be forgiven for succumbing to the charms of the Dalmatian coast and its 1 000 islands.Unemployment rate is high, especially among the youth, but there are incentives for investors and there is good potential for labour market development. There is demand in tourism and the hospitality sector, especially in summer. There is also seasonal demand for unskilled workers in agriculture, and for doctors and other medical staff mostly in rural areas and on islands. There may also be opportunities for tourist representatives and native-speaker foreign-language teachers.
|Cyprus - why work abroad?
Cyprus retains the marks of 10 000 years of civilisation, as well as a good number of party hotspots. Away from the resorts are villages and ruins drenched in scents typical of the Mediterranean. It is also a little-known fact that Cyprus is home to one of Europe's most southerly ski resorts.
In terms of work, the country has seen a contraction in the construction, hotel and catering industries, as well as in retail and commerce. Unemployment has risen significantly in recent years, especially among the young. The best prospects for employment for those with a secondary education include work as shop staff and cashiers, waiters, in childcare and care work, and bakers. Those with a higher education are more likely to find work in accounting and finance, IT, telecoms, and electrical engineering.
|Czech Republic - why work abroad?
Comprising the ancient lands of Bohemia and Moravia, the country is at the crossroads of European cultures. Prague, its stunning capital, has a vibrant arts scene; the wider countryside is dotted with castles, historic villages and spa towns.
The economic crisis has proved challenging for many Czech companies. However, jobs in the construction industry and services sector have held up relatively well. Unemployment levels vary widely between regions: the north and east have much higher levels of unemployment than Prague and the central region, which enjoy sustained interest of foreign investors and large numbers of tourists. Vacancies commonly look for catering and retail staff, sales representatives, security personnel, truck drivers, skilled engineers and technicians, and machine operators.
|Denmark - why work abroad?
You are never more than an hour from the coast in Denmark, a country famed as one of the happiest on Earth, as well as for its skills in design and craftsmanship, and efficient public services. The gap between rich and poor is very narrow in Denmark, placing most Danes in a thriving middle class.Unemployment is lower than average for Europe, and although Denmark has not escaped the impact of the economic crisis, employers still find it difficult to fill certain vacancies, for example for mechanical and IT engineers, doctors, psychologists, IT consultants, software developers, pharmaconomists (expert in pharmaceuticals) and others.
|Estonia - why work abroad?
Estonia is known for its information technology - Skype was written by two Estonians - and for its medieval capital, Tallinn, coastal resorts, islands, romantic castles, and forest covering over half of its territory. Although their country is commonly described as the smallest of the Baltic states, many Estonians see themselves as Nordic rather than Baltic, since their ethnic and linguistic roots are closer to those of the Finns than to those of the Lithuanians or Latvians.In late 2011 Estonia had the lowest levels of public debt in the EU. Competition for vacancies is fierce in the country's small labour market, especially for manager-level jobs. Jobs in services, sales and for operators of machinery and equipment had the least number of applicants per vacancy, according to recent figures.
|Finland - why work abroad?
Finland appears with striking regularity at or near the top of global rankings for quality of life, education standards and economic competitiveness. The most popular national pastime is taking a sauna, but the Finns are also keen on hosting wacky world championships: for wife carrying, air guitar and mosquito catching, amongst others. Inhabitants can also easily escape to the wilderness, be it forest, lake or one of the country's 180 000 islands.Despite Finland's record for competitiveness, the recent economic uncertainty has put a brake on recruitment. However, there is still demand for skilled workers in the service sector, including nurses, doctors, psychologists and dentists, nursery school and special education teachers, social workers, accountants, sales staff and telemarketers, and cleaners.
|France - why work abroad?
France is a major tourist centre, attracting 80 million visitors every year. Tourism accounted for more than 7 % of GDP in 2010 and is a significant source of jobs.
The French economy is a social market economy based on private property. It is principally a service economy - three quarters of French people work in the services sector - although industrial firms continue to represent a relatively large share of gross domestic product (GDP) and exports, and employ 14 % of the workforce. In 2011, France had more foreign investment in industry than any other country in Europe, principally in the chemicals, metals and metalworking, and food industries. Foreign investment in research and development rose 12 % a year on average from 2007-11.
|Germany - why work abroad?
The largest EU member has it all, from world-class cities to pretty villages and fairy-tale castles, dramatic mountains, deep forests and sandy beaches - and a peerless train network to explore it all in style.Germany is an industrial powerhouse, famous for the quality of its manufacture and design, especially in motor vehicles and electronics. The country has weathered the economic crisis well, registering a growth in jobs while other EU countries have seen job numbers decline. Jobseekers find work most easily in the south and south-west, while unemployment in the eastern Lander, although falling, is still almost double that in the west. In terms of sectors, there is demand for workers to fill skilled technical and engineering vacancies, as well as jobs in construction, care work and midwifery.
|Greece - why work abroad?
Small Greece is huge in its influence, from its historic contributions to civilisation to the variety of sights/activities that it offers today, including more than 2 500 islands, captivating beaches, lush gorges and romantic ruins.
The debt crisis, starting in 2010, led to stringent austerity measures and financial reforms. Unemployment is high, particularly among the young. Labour mobility is low with a large number of people working in family businesses. Migrants (most from Albania) account for 9.4 % of the workforce, a quarter of them in construction. Shipping and tourism are Greece's two biggest industries. The greatest demand for workers is for office and accounting staff, shop workers, followed by construction workers and personal services staff (hairdressers, cooks and waiters).
|Hungary - why work abroad?
Hungary has a culture and language which are unique in central Europe. The capital, Budapest, is vibrant and beautiful, straddling the Danube and attracting lovers of architecture or culture. The country is also blessed with the world's largest reserve of thermal water after Iceland and spa culture is fundamental to the Hungarian people.
The country has attracted significant foreign investment in the past two decades, but in recent years this has shifted away from the textile and food industry to luxury vehicle production, renewable energy systems, high-end tourism and IT. Unemployment has risen in the wake of the financial crisis; the largest numbers of new jobs advertised are for production-line assembly workers, metal workers and technicians, as well as hotel and catering staff.
|Iceland - why work abroad?
Iceland is an island of natural wonders with volcanoes, glaciers, geysers and mud pots. Fear not the Vikings; Icelanders are friendly, stoical and humorous, and their capital Reykjavik has the safety and charm of a village.
Unemployment in Iceland has historically been very low, around 1 %. This changed with the financial crisis and the collapse of the banks in 2008, increasing to over 8 %, although it has fallen since. The economic crisis also led to an upturn in tourism, due to the devaluation of the currency. A growth in the software development sector has translated into a need for skilled IT workers, and there is a shortage of skilled workers in the metal industry, including welders and ironworkers. The country is also in need of doctors, as many Icelandic doctors have moved to work abroad.
|Ireland - why work abroad?
Ireland has charmed visitors with its dramatic western coastline, the vitality of its capital, Dublin, and a musical and literary culture that punches well above its weight. It has modernised rapidly in recent years, but it retains its legendary welcome and a unique, local charm that seems to defy the influence of globalisation.
Ireland was hit hard by the economic crisis which began in 2007, with significant jobs losses in construction, manufacturing and the service industries. There was growth, however, in the accommodation and food, and ICT sectors. Other major industries are biotech and pharmaceuticals, medical devices, green energy and financial services. The EURES portal details the specific skills shortages in Irish firms in science, engineering, IT, financial, sales and marketing.
|Italy - why work abroad?
Italy has it all - from an enviable climate, varied landscape and historical and artistic treasures to a beloved national cuisine. Its people know how to live the good life, cherishing family, cultural traditions and beautiful surroundings.
Recruitment has picked up since 2012 in Italy. Recent observations have seen a marked increase in the proportion of highly skilled jobs on offer, particularly for IT, manufacturing and construction specialists, as well as for administrative, financial and banking technicians. There has also been a growth in demand for labourers and skilled workers, with less demand for clerical and sales staff. Italy traditionally has a large number of jobs for seasonal workers, due to the large tourism industry. Companies have a problem filling around 20 % of vacancies.
|Latvia - why work abroad?
One of Europe's best kept secrets, Latvia's lively capital Riga is home to more than a third of the country's population, boasts stunning art nouveau architecture and, as a former member of the medieval Hanseatic League, has a long and proud history of commerce and international trade.
The country's labour market has recovered from the economic crisis and is currently stable with rising employment. In some sectors there is already a shortage of specialists: IT specialists, engineers and highly qualified specialists in industry are all in demand. To be successful in finding a job in Latvia, candidates should be flexible and multi-skilled, for example in starting and running a business, with good IT and communication skills, and able to speak Latvian and/or English and/or Russian.
|Lichtenstein - why work abroad?
The last remnant of the Holy Roman Empire, Liechtenstein was established in 1719 and has close ties with Switzerland. It is most famous for its low tax regime and high salaries, and as a centre of banking and commerce, but it also has the highest industrial concentration of all countries in Europe. There is not an awful lot of it - the country measures 25 km long by 6 km wide - but the capital, Vaduz, has some beautiful mountain scenery popular with hikers, cyclists and, in winter, skiers.
The unemployment rate was the lowest in Europe in 2012 (2.4 % average and 2.75 % for youth unemployment). The labour market has shortages of craftsmen and skilled technicians.
|Lithuania - why work abroad?
Smoothed by the glaciers of the last ice age, the rolling countryside of Lithuania is dotted with lakes, wetlands and forests as well as plenty of space to roam and pick wild berries and mushrooms. Larger than Belgium or the Netherlands, it has less than a third of their population.
Lithuania had one of the fastest-growing economies in eastern Europe prior to the financial crisis in 2008. It has made efforts to develop a knowledge-based economy with an emphasis on biotechnology. The job market has picked up following difficult years in 2009-10, with strong demand for personnel to fill the following roles: sales managers, doctors, insurance agents, international truck drivers, tailors, salespersons, multi-skilled construction workers, waiting and bar staff, and metalworking machine operators.
|Luxembourg - why work abroad?
Postage-stamp-sized Luxembourg is known for its banking sector, low tax regime and fairy-tale castles. Besides the city, it is magical outside with steep hills and lush wooded valleys are ideal for a walk before lunch in a rustic tavern beside a turreted manor house. Almost half the country's resident population are foreigners. Even more people commute to work daily in Luxembourg from the other side of its borders.
The job market has grown rapidly in recent years - up 30 % from 2004 to 2012 with growth in the business and financial services health and social services, construction, transport and communication. There is also still recruitment potential in construction, hotels and restaurants, business services, industry, wholesale and retail trade, transport and health, and social services.
|Malta - why work abroad?
One of the world's smallest and most densely populated states, the archipelago of Malta comprises three inhabited islands plus 18 others. A Mecca for tourists, it attracts three times as many visitors each year as the number of its residents. Despite being so heavily developed, it is testament to the islands' rulers over the years that many historic monuments survive to tell the tale of its 7 000-year history - a fascinating story of conquest in the Mediterranean.
The job market is dominated by the service sector and craft-related jobs. Recent surveys have shown a large number of vacancies for teachers, office staff, sales staff, waiters and waitresses, care workers, construction workers, nurses, cleaners and IT professionals.
|Netherlands - why work abroad?
The Netherlands has a number of beautiful cities, a liberal outlook and well-organised and accessible natural areas.
The number of jobs declined in most sectors in 2012 compared to the previous year, most markedly in public administration, construction and the property rental and sales sectors. However, a few sectors expanded, including care/welfare, trade/transport/catering and information/communication. The largest number of unfilled vacancies is for technical and commercial sales representatives, and electrical mechanics and fitters. Agricultural and industrial machinery mechanics and fitters, and plumbers and pipe-fitters also have a good chance of finding work, due to demand outstripping supply. Be aware that knowledge of the Dutch language may be necessary, especially in commercial jobs.
|Norway - why work abroad?
Although a young nation, Norway has a long history and a strong heritage. Over the years, its customs and traditions have merged with impulses and influences from abroad. Characterised by large areas of unspoilt countryside, Norway offers abundant opportunities for outdoor pursuits, including sporting challenges.
Jobseekers who are interested in looking for work in Norway should be aware that recent surveys have shown a decline in vacancies in finance and insurance, construction and management, and mining and production, alongside growth in information and communication technologies. The labour market has a strong demand for engineers and ICT workers, and engineers in petroleum and geosciences. There is also a shortage of health, care and nursing staff, particularly nurses.
|Poland - why work abroad?
Poland is blessed with natural beauty, with its 500 km Baltic Sea coast, extensive lakes district and dense forest covering nearly a third of its territory to the mountains in the south.
It is also the only country in Europe to have confidently withstood the widespread financial and economic crisis. Efforts have been made lately to attract international capital and investors to launch new ventures in Poland.
The country has a dynamic and growing ICT sector, with a demand for developers, web designers, software engineers and database administrators. International companies, meanwhile, need people with language skills to work as helpdesk agents, call-desk agents, customer service advisers, content reviewers, game testers, project managers, and financial and logistical specialists.
|Portugal - why work abroad?
Portugal and its territories - the Azores and Madeira - are popular tourist destinations. Besides tourism, services are the largest employers. Manufacturing employs less than 20 % of the workforce. It is based on traditional products such as textiles, clothing, footwear, cork, wood products, beverages, ceramics, glass, fish canning, metalworking, oil refining and chemicals. The country has increased its role in Europe's automotive sector and has a world- class mould-making industry.
Almost 4 in 10 young people are out of work and wages are among the lowest per capita in the EU. Nevertheless, there is demand in specific sectors, including seasonal work in tourism and agriculture; doctors; specialist IT workers; and professionals with language skills that are difficult to find in Portugal.
|Romania - why work abroad?
Natural attractions are the Danube delta, the Black Sea coast and the Carpathian mountains. West of the mountains lies the historical region of Transylvania, home to medieval towns and fairy-tale castles, and a must for fans of vampire fiction.
Romania has attracted considerable foreign investment and seen a rapid growth of its private sector in recent years, partly thanks to it having one of the lowest tax rates in the European Union - a flat 16 %. While wages are among the lowest in Europe, unemployment is also low.It has a larger industrial and agricultural base, but these sectors are declining in favour of services - commerce and a fast- growing tourism sector. Job vacancies most often posted are in the textile industry, freight handling, parts assembly, packaging, construction and sales.
|Slovakia - why work abroad?
Dubbed the 'Tatra Tiger', Slovakia's economy experienced sustained growth before the global recession. Since then there have been slower indications of recovery. However, recent years have seen a growth in the number of people working and in the number of jobs. Besides the IT sector, there was growth in transport and storage, information and communication activities, and industrial manufacturing. Car manufacturing and electrical engineering are the main industry sectors - Slovakia is the world's largest producer of cars per capita.
Besides work considerations, this compact landlocked country has extensive transport links and numerous natural and cultural attractions, including historic towns, spectacular caves, stunning mountain scenery and a lively winter-sports scene.
|Slovenia - why work abroad?
Slovenia appeals to hikers and skiers thanks to its beautiful landscapes and enviable climate. Lying on the south of the Alps, it boasts sunny alpine meadows covered in wildflowers, a good stretch of balmy Mediterranean coastline and lush forest coverage on 58 % of its territory.Slovenia is heavily dependent on exports and suffered from the global recession. Signs of recovery translated into a growth in the job market in 2011, but in 2012 economic conditions began to decline again. There is still demand for mechanical, electrical and electronics engineers; medical professionals; software developers; catering staff; heavy goods vehicle drivers; and welders. Humanities and social science graduates without work experience and unskilled workers are among those facing the most difficulties finding work.
|Spain - why work abroad?
Although famous for its sunshine and beach culture, Spain does not want for variety, with snow-capped mountains, rugged back-country, lush nature reserves and rocky coastal paths. It also has one of the highest numbers of Unesco world heritage sites.
The economic crisis has hit Spain hard. As unemployment has risen, the large number of foreign workers in Spain has decreased. But tourism and related sectors have held up well, and there has been growth in the number of jobs in IT; artistic, recreational and entertainment activities; and administration. Trends suggest that further labour market growth is likely to come from the services sector, industry and technological development, and a revival of the agricultural sector by applying new technologies.
|Sweden - why work abroad?
Sweden routinely comes top worldwide for health, literacy and human development, and its economy ranks in the top 10 most competitive globally. The Swedish people are known for neutrality and consensus building. Also known for its high taxes and generous welfare, income inequality is low and trade unions are powerful.The largest industries are engineering, telecoms, the automotive industry and pharmaceuticals. Forecasts predict job losses in manufacturing, agriculture and forestry, but job creation in public and private service industries and construction. For graduate jobs in journalism, competition is fierce. There has been less competition recently for qualified civil engineers, specialist IT and construction industry specialists, and medical professionals including doctors, midwives and nurses.
|Switzerland - why work abroad?
Switzerland has one of the most powerful economies in the world. Its largest sector is manufacturing - of chemicals, health and pharmaceutical products, and scientific and precision instruments.
Highly skilled foreign workers have been in demand following changes to freedom of movement rules. Over a quarter of permanent employees are foreign nationals, and many more are short-stay workers or cross-border commuters. Most jobs in Switzerland are in the service sector, a quarter in industry and trade and 4 % in farming. Vacancies in banking have fallen steeply, but those in insurance have risen. The strong currency has led to a decline in tourist numbers, with an impact on jobs in the sector. The most frequently advertised posts are for skilled building-trade workers and nursing professionals.
|United Kingdom - why work abroad?
The United Kingdom has one of the world's largest economies. The service sector accounts for over 70 % of GDP and, although manufacturing of the automotive, aerospace and pharmaceutical sectors remain significant.
The global downturn and high government debt have squeezed public finances, with significant job losses in both public and private sectors. Nevertheless, engineers for the automotive, electricity and green industries; engineers and technicians for the energy sector; chefs in Japanese, Thai and Asian cuisine; hospital consultants and operating-theatre nurses; certain IT professionals; and heavy goods vehicle, bus and coach drivers are still in demand. The care sector has unfilled vacancies for care workers and there is a shortage of social workers specialised in children and family work.