Integration of immigrants is a joint effort
Integration of immigrants requires close cooperation between administrative branches and levels of administration at national, regional and local level. Integration of immigrants involves both public sector and civil society actors.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for
- integration of immigrants,
- integration legislation and
- promotion of the employment of immigrants.
The ministry also monitors labour immigration and its structure in cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior.
The task of the Centre of Expertise in Integration of Immigrants, which comes under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, is to support the expertise of the integration actors and strengthen the knowledge base of integration.
Several nationwide actors
The following actors are responsible for promoting the integration of immigrants in their own administrative branches:
- Ministry of the Interior,
- Ministry of Education and Culture,
- Ministry of Social Affairs and Health,
- Ministry of Justice,
- Ministry for Foreign Affairs,
- Finnish Immigration Service,
- Finnish National Board of Education,
- Advisory Board for Ethnic Relations (ETNO) and
- Non-Discrimination Ombudsman.
ELY Centres have regional responsibility for integration of immigrants
Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres) are responsible for integration of immigrants at regional level. ELY Centres support municipalities and steer Employment and Economic Development Offices (TE Offices) in integration matters. ELY Centres also conclude agreements with municipalities on the allocation of persons receiving international protection into municipalities.
Municipalities are responsible for integration of immigrants at local level
Municipalities have overall and coordination responsibility for integration of immigrants at local level. In cooperation with other local actors, municipalities prepare integration programmes for promoting integration and strengthening cooperation.
TE Offices support immigrants in job-seeking
TE Offices have main responsibility for integrating immigrants who have registered as job-seekers. Together with ELY Centrist Offices are responsible for providing immigrants that have registered as job-seekers with employment services supporting integration, such as integration training. Employers and trade unions play an important role in the promoting of diversity in working life and integration.
Civil society actors are partners in the integration process
Many non-governmental organisations and religious communities provide activities and services helping immigrants to integrate into Finnish society. Immigrants living in Finland also have organisations and associations of their own. Participation in the activities of sports clubs and other leisure activities also helps immigrants to integrate into Finnish society.
Paula Karjalainen, paula.karjalainen(at)tem.fi