Last week I wrote about the difficult method of learning Finnish and this time I am writing about the possibility for a foreigner to find a job. For instance, having a job below one’s professional expertise is not exactly motivating. However, but in all integrating processes in any country, language can be a barrier to find a better job opportunity.
In 2008 there were 15,611 foreigners in the “integration program” provided by the Finnish government and one out of every six immigrants found a job, according to the statistics published by Helsingin Sanomat.
When a foreigner arrives to Finland, having all the permits required, has the right to the integration program. It is started at the unemployment office with a language course. The program takes from three to five years, depending on each situation. It is a long process to find a job and only two out of every seven people find one related to their profession.
As I mentioned in my last post, the law that regulates the integration programs was created 10 years ago and for this reason the Finnish Parliament is planning to approve a new one in 2010. The government wants to shorten the process, the aim is that immigrants can use their own professional experience and they can be guided to find better jobs. For example, there are many who have studied a master degree and they work cleaning etc. In most of the cases there is no additional training apart from the language, which forces many to change their professions.
The government plans to introduce a new law that would put immigrants in the same position as those who have come to Finland as refugees who have had more training according to their specific situation.
Language training will be improved as well. The aim is to have one integrated process and not many. In the current system foreigners study the language in different schools and take many different courses.
Finland needs foreigners, it has already been recognised. For this reason we hope that the new law can bring about a more effective process and we hope that foreigners can learn faster and in a better way the language. We also hope that we can have jobs according to our experience… because at the end who are the once who benefit the most…?
Rocío Adelita de las Piatolas