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. Latvia’s workforce is ranked in the top five in the world in terms of university students per capita. Latvians take pride in having strong work ethics being an integral part of Northern European culture, while at the same time having and extensive experience and knowledge of doing business with Russia.
Higher education: Latvian labour force is well educated, with one of the highest rates of university attendance in the world. In 2015/2016 there were 84 282 students attaining 59 higher education and 54 professional education institutions, 3 of which are branches of foreign universities.
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’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. There are more than 14 797 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. Over 80% of Latvians speak Russian and 70% of people under age 40 speak English. German and 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.