The Ministry of the Interior has developed a program to strengthen work-based immigration with a commitment to comply, support and bring into prominence the Finnish Government’s immigration policy line 2018-2021. The government’s immigration policy line supports the strengthening of employment and public finances, improving the maintenance relationship and promoting the internationalization of the economy. The program is designed to promote work-based immigration in particular, as well as supporting integration and good demographic relations between different populations.
Finland needs migrants to respond to labour shortages in different sectors, improve the worsening maintenance ratio with the ageing population, and increase the attractiveness of Finland in the eyes of international talent and entrepreneurs.” (Ministry of Interior 1/2018)
Finland has labour shortages in several sectors; in addition to domestic workers, Finland needs foreign ones as well. Immigrant integration plays a very important role in assessing solutions to ageing demographics and declining birth rates. Integration policy aims to integrate migrants into Finland’s sustainable future. Good integration of immigrants will play a key role in what the consequences of immigration take shape. When new arrivals integrate into Finnish society so that they are doing well in general and on the labour market, immigration can have a significant positive impact on public finances. Therefore, in order to support the integration of new arrivals, properly targeted measures of society are needed.
The Government has pointed out that firstly, knowledgeable immigration supports Finland’s economic growth; secondly, effective integration services facilitate the attractiveness of skilled workforce; and thirdly, good population relations and positive attitudes towards immigration support the attachment of immigrants to Finland. The starting point of immigration policy is to keep immigration active, managed and anticipated in order to make knowledgeable and skilled labor available in employment and businesses necessary in the future, but nevertheless to maintain overall population growth controlled. The talented people who move to the country will bring more innovation and skills in Finland with them. Working life becomes more diverse and the overall know-how increases as Finland becomes internationalist, increasing in attractiveness in the international labor market, which brings even more talent and experts to Finland.
In businesses, one of the biggest challenges on the path to growth and internationalization is the lack of access to skilled labor. Finland’s low attractiveness and interest have led to low occupational immigration to Finland. When considering making direct investments in Finland, international companies take into account not only the workforce already present here, but also whether they can persuade their own key people to move to Finland. Therefore, an attractive working and living environment should also be provided for immigrants.
In the planning of work-related immigration, it must be noted that immigrants also arrive in Finland for other reasons; among other things, international researchers, graduates and those arriving in Finland as spouses must be taken into account as labor and skills resources for Finland and attention has to be paid to the channeling of their skills to the Finnish labor market. National business services need to be better developed and must be able to open up opportunities for international talent to promote growth and internationalization.
Providing effective integration services and promoting integration will support the active role of the immigrant in society and a strengthened sense of social cohesion. At the same time, society and labor market are influenced by immigrants and become more diverse. This kind of activity increases the well-being of immigrants, as well as improves the attractiveness of Finland. The need for services that help the adaptation to Finland is individual – it depends on the preferences of those moving to the country. Support for integration can be facilitated, for example, the entry of an accompanying spouse into the labor market or learning the Finnish or Swedish language of the children of the family. Integration and other services that take account of the whole family contribute to the enjoyment and stay here in Finland, contribute to the inclusion of people on the labor market and their family members in Finnish society and good everyday life.
Population relations are an entity permeating different aspects of society ,whose effects are visible in people’s everyday lives. The goal of population relations policy is to increase interaction between different groups and influence people’s sense of security, attitudes and inclusion. A positive attitude climate and good population relations will improve Finland’s position in the market of professionals, make Finland more attractive to immigrants and more easily engage with Finnish society.
It can therefore be noted that Finland needs work-related immigration in order to respond to labor shortages. It would also be important for Finland to pay attention to its attractiveness in the eyes of the international workforce and global enterprises. The labor market and businesses benefit from the diversity, innovation and know-how that immigrants bring. Immigration can have a major positive impact on Finland’s public finances. Immigrant integration and integration into labor play a significant role in how thriving and active society actors they become. Successful integration and good population relations, positive attitudes and an acceptable, non-discriminatory working life are factors that reinforce Finland’s country brand in the international labor market and are therefore enshrined as the objectives of the Government’s immigration policy program.