EURES: Assistance within even the most unusual professions


When a Romanian glassblower was made redundant, chances seemed slim that he would find another opportunity in his unusual profession. Luckily help was not far away. Ionel Mihalache is a professional glassblower from Botosani County, Romania, and worked in his hometown where glassware was the main economic activity. Unfortunately in 2007 his employer went out of business and Ionel found himself unemployed. Since the glass handicraft industry in Romania was very small, Ionel feared that he would not have much luck looking for new employment locally. He contacted his local Public Employment Service office who in turn suggested that his best option would be to contact EURES, and search for a job elsewhere in Europe.

He immediately got in touch with Gabriela Drobota, a EURES Adviser from the local Botosani office. In Romania, unemployment in this sector is particularly problematic and therefore local EURES Advisers have made an effort to develop particular knowledge of the sector in order to better support the unemployed. ‘Gabriela was extremely helpful; she started by assisting me in developing and writing my CV in English’, said Ionel. ‘I was surprised by the expert level of the EURES Adviser, the patience she had with me, and the confidence that I would find a job matching my qualification,’ he continued. As Gabriela says, ‘I made an extra effort to help him find this job, since glassblowing is such an unusual profession! But it was a nice challenge’, says Gabriela.

Gabriela put Ionel in touch with Mr Angelo Colarosa, the Director of Cose Belle Cose Rare, an Italian company based in San Bartolomeo in Galdo not far from Naples, specialising in the production of high quality handmade products including glass. Ionel’s application to Cose Belle Cose Rare was successful; he was accepted almost immediately, and started packing soon after for his move to Italy. He had already lived in Italy for a few years previously where he studied glassblowing under the tutelage of various artists. He had often considered moving back to Italy, given the number of glass factories located in the country; thus, he saw this move as a great opportunity.

Ionel said that he enjoyed the small size of the village he was living in as it gave him the chance to meet people and make new Italian and Romanian friends. ‘To me, Italy was the greatest opportunity I possibly could have had!’ he said. He also says that learning Italian was not a problem at all, given its similarity to his mother tongue.

After gaining experience abroad for a number of years, Ionel is now back in Romania. For the future, his plan is to return to Italy to work in a glass manufacturing in the north of the country. With the support of EURES Advisers he is sure he will be able to do it again!

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