Integration SIB project

For immigrants to find employment as quickly as possible is important in many respects. It facilitates their integration to the Finnish society, eases the shortage of labour faced by Finnish employers, and leads to public savings by increasing tax revenue. The Integration SIB project aimed to find employment to 2,000–2,500 immigrants within the three years.

In the experiment, implemented by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the employment of immigrants is promoted through private investment, using the SIB (Social Impact Bond) model of impact investing. Funds for the activity were collected from investors who also bear the economic risk. The State only paid for the outcome, which in this case meant savings in the public sector.

The Integration SIB project boosted the employment of immigrants by bringing together companies and employees and by customising the training of immigrants according to what was needed at workplaces.

The companies participating in the experiment represented sectors that have difficulties in finding workforce, such as the manufacturing industry, building, trade and services. Jobs in academic sectors could also be found via SIB. The experiment was first carried out in Uusimaa and Southwest Finland and it was extended to regions where there was a shortage of labour as considered necessary.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment selected Epiqus Oy to manage the SIB experiment through competitive tendering. Its tasks included finding the jobs, educating and training immigrants and collecting funds for the activity. The Employment and Economic Development Offices steered the customers to participate in the experiment.

The Integration SIB model benefits all stakeholders: employers, immigrants, private investors and society.

Objectives

  • To employ 2,500 immigrants within three years and help employers get the skilled workforce they need.
  • To help immigrants become part of the Finnish society through education, training and employment.
  • To provide vocationally oriented language and other training to immigrants in support of finding employment.
  • To finance the worked aimed to find employment for immigrants by the Social Impact Bond model, where funds are collected from private and institutional sources.

What is SIB?

The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra introduced the Social Impact Bond model to Finland as part of impact investing. In the SIB project the performance objectives were specified in great detail, both for the wellbeing set as the target and for the economic benefit. Reaching the objectives was measured on a regular basis and the public sector only paid for the outcome – in this project, that immigrants find employment.

A brochure about the SIB model

Read more about impact investing and the SIB model
Press release of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 2 June 2017: New inputs to boost immigrant’s employment
European Investment Fund press release, 02/06/2017 Investment Plan for Europe: First social impact bond scheme in Europe supports integration in Finland

More information: susanna.piepponen(at)gov.fi