Integration of residence permit recipients being accelerated

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 13.4.2016 14.28
Press release
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy is accelerating the transfer of residence permit recipients from reception centres to regional municipalities and, if necessary, registering them with TE Offices as clients. In addition to this, integration training is being updated. An additional EUR 20 million has been allocated to Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centres).

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy issued guidelines to ELY Centres and TE Offices on early phase integration services for immigrants and decided on the allocation on 13 April 2016. The aim of the guidelines is to create a nationally uniform operating model for the early phase of integration. It is estimated that over 10,000 asylum-seekers will be granted residence permits, move into municipalities and become registered clients with TE Offices this year.

Residence permit recipients will be directed to ELY Centre municipalities

The goal is to place residence permit recipients primarily in the municipalities of the ELY Centre region where the reception centre is located. Once the residence permit recipients have been placed throughout Finland, they can be provided with early phase services as effectively as possible. The ELY Centres are responsible for setting guidelines for municipalities in the region.

Transferring from reception centres to municipalities and TE Services should be done simultaneously. This is a new approach. Residence permit recipients can register with TE Offices as a client while they are still in the reception centres. TE Offices will make every effort to take the background of the residence permit recipient into consideration in order to ensure that they are placed in a location where there is suitable work or educational opportunities.

Immediate adoption of new training models

In March, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy and the Finnish National Board of Education prepared new, alternative models for integration training. The models make training more flexible and personalised. The purpose of training is to provide stronger support for skills and competences already possessed by immigrants.

Allowing residence permit recipients to begin the integration training orientation while still in the reception centre accelerates integration. Then, the training is, wherever possible, provided with a focus on vocational skills. Language studies and an introduction to Finnish culture, society and working life are given outside the training.

The ELY Centres and TE Offices will immediately begin implementing the new integration training models in procuring the training services. This will encourage training providers to develop new, more flexible training models.

EUR 20 million in additional funding for integration training

The Ministry of Employment and the Economy will allocate a total of EUR 20 million to ELY Centres as follows:

Uusimaa                      7,540,000
Southwest Finland     1,370,000
Satakunta                        480,000
Häme                            1,270,000
Pirkanmaa                   1,580,000
Southeast Finland      1,230,000
South Savo                      340,000
North Savo                       510,000
North Karelia                   440,000
Central Finland               940,000
South Ostrobothnia        500,000
Ostrobothnia                1,200,000
North Ostrobothnia     1,300,000
Kainuu                              300,000
Lapland                         1,000,000

The funding provided is part of the annual employment appropriation, a majority of which was allocated in January 2016. A portion of the funds earmarked for integration training was left unallocated, because it was not clear at that time how the refugees would be placed in various regions.

Letters directed to ELY Centres and TE Offices can be read on the Ministry of Employment and the Economy website as file attachments. For more information on the new integration training models, please visit the Finnish National Board of Education website at http://oph.fi/saadokset_ja_ohjeet/opetussuunnitelmien_ja_tutkintojen_perusteet/maahanmuuttajien_koulutus

Further information:
Ministerial Adviser Sonja Hämäläinen, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 (0)29 504 7112
Tarja Rantala, Project Manager, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 (0)29 50 47101
Ministerial Adviser Markku Virtanen, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 (0)29 504 9068