Promotion of migration of talents 

Koli There are many dependencies involved in attracting, settling and integrating international talents. Finland's international reputation and attractiveness from the perspective of job and career opportunities are affected by, for example, the accessibility and fluency of the services needed at the entry stage, as well as the experiences of international experts in Finnish working life.

Strengthening Finland's pulling and holding power requires close and long-term cooperation between the state, cities, educational institutions, companies and other employers and actors.

Immigration of international experts and labour is developed through the national Talent Boost programme, which is coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Country branding and attracting experts

Country branding aimed at international experts started in 2018. The main messages of the #FinlandWorks brand concept, implemented with a Finnish look, tell about a functioning welfare state whose strengths are nature and sustainable development, family-friendliness, education and competence.

The #FinlandWorks Country branding and Attraction Coordination Group is chaired by Business Finland. Business Finland, the National Board of Education, the Academy of Finland, the Centre for the Development and Administration of Centres for Economic Development, Transport and of the Environment and Employment and Economic Development Offices, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment participate in the work of the coordination group. The #FinlandWorks brand can be used by all actors involved in attracting and recruiting international talents.

A model for international recruitment

Alongside the overall reform of the residence permit system, a model for international recruitment is being prepared. The goal of the model for international recruitment is to increase the quantity and quality of international recruitment, taking into account the ethical recruitment perspective. In particular, there is a desire to lower the threshold for small and medium-sized enterprises to hire foreign labour. The target setting also includes strengthening the knowledge base on the demand and supply of foreign labour. The model for international recruitment includes both corporate and personal customer target groups.

The model for international recruitment compiles of four parts:

  • information management,
  • customer relationship management,
  • corporate and personal customer services
  • continuous development.

Working life diversity programme

Diversity and non-discrimination in working life and Finnish society in general are of critical importance for the employment of immigrants here and Finland’s ability to attract skilled labour, international students and investments.

The programme includes measures to reduce structural discrimination and racism in the labour market by increasing the awareness of the benefits of diversity in work communities and by improving recruitment and management skills related to diversity and inclusiveness in working life. In addition, the programme promotes diversity skills in employer and jobseeker services and advances diversity and inclusiveness in the public sector. Measures to combat discrimination in recruitment and to promote anonymous recruitment will be included in the programme too.

Petra Lehto, Chief Specialist

Project for the development of immigrant legislation and permit procedures

The Programme of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government identifies an increase in work-based immigration and in the number of international degree students settling in Finland as one of its aims. According to the Government Programme, steps will be taken to accelerate the work-based residence permit process, to make it easier for students and researchers to enter into and stay in Finland, and to improve the status of seasonal workers with measures such as legislative amendments. In addition, attention will be paid to preventing the exploitation of foreign labour, and the labour market test will be adhered to.

These entries in the Government Programme fall within the remit of several different ministries. Therefore, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Ministry of the Interior, Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Education and Culture, and Ministry of Social Affairs and Health have established a joint project for the development of immigrant legislation and permit procedures to coordinate the implementation of the Government Programme with regard to immigration regulations and permit procedures. The objective of the development project is to have a one-month processing time for work-based and education-based residence permit applications, as well as a 14-day fast track for experts, growth entrepreneurs and their family members. The system development work and communications measures aimed at accelerating the work-based and education-based permit processes are funded by the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which is the largest programme of the recovery instrument Next Generation EU. The project will be implemented as part of the Talent Boost programme.

The main themes of the project:

  1. Streamlining legislation concerning the processing of residence permit applications
  2. Reforming regulations on foreign students and researchers
  3. Reforming regulations on foreign seasonal workers
  4. Accelerating official procedures in the processing of residence permit applications
  5. Preventing the exploitation of foreign labour

The steering group of the development project guides the work of the sub-groups and ensures consistency and interlinkages between the sub-groups’ proposals. It is the steering group’s responsibility to amalgamate the steering processes for permit procedures of the three different administrative branches, covering performance management, resources and other steering. The steering group reports to the Ministerial Working Group on Promoting Employment.

Sub-group for preventing the exploitation of foreign labour: Press release

Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director
Kristel Stenman-Huuskonen, Project Manager   

Preparation of the Roadmap for educational and labour migration for 2035

In addition to the reforms related to the immigration of experts during the government term, there is a need for a cross-governmental review and target setting that takes into account demographic development, labour needs, employment development, economic dependency, and the growth and internationalisation of companies and R&D.

In order to form a picture of the situation of educational and labour migration, which is necessary for economic and social development, the preparation of a roadmap has been launched in autumn 2020. The Roadmap for Educational and Labour Migration 2035 compiles an informed assessment of skilled migration and defines the objectives and measures for it in the coming years.

The roadmap is based on population and skills needs forecasts as well as key immigration, education, research and innovation policy guidelines and processes. Representatives of ministries, state regional and local governments, labour market organizations, companies, municipal and regional organisations, as well as universities and research institutes have participated in the preparation of the roadmap. Stakeholder collaboration has included a researcher dialogue, two online brainstorming sessions and two specialist workshops. 

Petra Lehto, Chief Specialist