Sunday June 16, 2024

6 largest cities’ Mayors for attracting Int´l talent to solve crisis

Published : 25 Mar 2023, 04:23

  DF Report
DF File Photo.

Mayors of the six largest cities in Finland on Friday in a statement said that the demographic development of Finland and the acute shortage of talent that companies are struggling with require more systematic and long-term investment in attracting international talent, said the City of Helsinki in a press release.

The government and large cities must coordinate their operational goals and resources related to the availability of labour in a more strategic partnership, said the joint statement made by Mayor of Helsinki Juhana Vartiainen, Mayor of Espoo Jukka Mäkelä, Mayor of Vantaa Ritva Viljanen, Mayor of Turku Minna Arve, Mayor of Tampere Anna-Kaisa Ikonen and Mayor of Oulu Seppo Määttä.

The next government programme must recognise the importance of cities in EU cooperation and set common goals for the government and cities to ensure that Finland will be more competent and competitive in the future.

For example, Finland’s existing international organisations and networks, such as Business Finland and network of embassies, must be utilised more effectively when municipalities and companies attract and recruit international manpower.

Companies’ possibilities of recruiting international employees are directly affected by how smooth the Finnish residence permit and registration processes are and whether settlement services are available to all those relocating here.

“It is key that all employees who have arrived in Finland are allowed to work as quickly as possible. Targeted measures are also needed to support the spouses of international experts and students to access working life quickly,” said the statement.

The government must further accelerate the residence permit and registration processes of international experts, entrepreneurs and their family members and support their quick access to settlement and integration services by funding targeted projects.

The fast-track service for specialists and startup entrepreneurs successfully accelerated the permit process for these groups last year. This work should now be continued and the client-oriented approach further promoted across agency boundaries, including Kela, the Tax Administration and the Digital and Population Data Services Agency.

Identification methods for foreigners must also be developed in order to enable more extensive use of e-services. This includes the digitalisation of services and guidance concerning residence permits.

The mayors said that international degree students’ transition to working life must be supported by investing in their job-application training, Finnish and Swedish studies, and networking with Finnish students and employers during their studies.

Higher education and vocational institutions should include Finnish and Swedish studies in their degree programmes.

Finnish and Swedish studies should be available even after graduation, and students should be offered individual support for job searching and work coaching.

The Ministry of Education and Culture must encourage higher education institutions to ensure that, upon graduation, degree students have not only sector-specific competence but also the necessary linguistic skills for them to find employment in the Finnish labour market. Education-based immigration must be focused on students who pay tuition fees so that the tuition fees can be used to cover the costs of the degree.

“English-language general upper secondary school education must be enabled by also providing the national matriculation examination in English. From the perspective of a coherent learning path, it is important that pupils who have completed their basic education in English have the opportunity to continue their studies in English-language general upper secondary education,” said the mayors in a joint statement.

The next government programme must recognise the importance of cities in EU cooperation and set common goals for the government and cities to ensure that Finland will be more competent and competitive in the future.