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THL: Contacting employers directly best job route for immigrants

The public health authority's report found that many immigrants struggle to find work through employment services or private recruitment agencies.

Photos shows a meeting between a jobseeker and a prospective employer at an office in Helsinki.
The study by THL found regional and gender-based differences in how immigrants found work in Finland. Image: Jaani Lampinen / Yle
Yle News

Immigrants in Finland are more likely to find a job if they apply directly to employers, according to the results of a study conducted by public health authority THL.

The report also found that immigrants often secure employment through acquaintances.

This is in stark contrast to immigrants who look for work through employment services or private recruitment agencies, where many respondents reported frustrating experiences.

THL also examined other methods of seeking employment, such as study-related work placements. The target group for the study was people who moved to Finland in 2018 and 2019.

"The starting points for the employment of immigrants are good, because studies have shown that immigrants are highly educated, fluent in different languages, and able and willing to work. Extensive cooperation is needed to improve the attitudes of working life, the networking of job seekers and the provision of services," THL project coordinator Sanna Nykänen wrote in a press release.

The study also found regional and gender-based factors played an important role in how successful immigrants were in landing a job.

For example, in the Kymenlaakso region of southern Finland, the report found that immigrants very rarely found work through the local employment services offices. By contrast, the regions of North Karelia and Satakunta were more successful in finding work for immigrants through these services, although even in these regions only around one in ten secured employment this way.

The report also found that women often found work by applying to job advertisements, especially in the southwest of the country, but in North Karelia it was common for women to be offered a position having completed a short-term internship.

Almost half of immigrant men in the Northern Savo region told the researchers that they found a job by contacting the employer directly, while in Kanta-Häme, men were most likely to secure a job through an acquaintance.

"Employment is an important factor in terms of integration. We must pay attention to each of the different avenues to ensure smoother access to employment. Creating equality in the job market, regardless of background, is essential," researcher Manu Jalonen said.

The study was based on survey data collected by THL on the well-being of people living in Finland but born abroad (FinMonik). The study was funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund AMIF.

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