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Have you come up against unfair hiring practices in Finland?

This week Yle reported that some overseas academics believe they have been discriminated against when applying for permanent positions. Share your experiences with us about whether being a foreigner has affected your ability to land a job - for better or for worse.

Työntekijä kirjoittaa nopeasti tietokoneella
Image: Raila Paavola / Yle

On Monday Yle News reported claims that some overseas academics are finding it hard to get appointed to permanent posts in Finnish universities.

And last week the European Commission said it will refer Finland to the European Court of Justice over the way it deals with potential victims of racial discrimination in the workplace.

Now we’d like to hear your stories from all job fields – have you come up against what you consider to be closed hiring practices? Do you believe your nationality has hindered your ability to find employment? Or have you found that being a foreigner in Finland has actually boosted your career?

Share your experiences below!

Please remember that we are unable to publish allegations against specific, named or easily identifiable organisations and individuals.

 

23.7 Thank you to everyone who shared their comments on this issue. Comments to this piece are now closed.

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  • oululife

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    "all job fields"...

    Well, yeah. As a skilled ex-employee of a rather large Finnish telecommunications company, I was a tad surprised to find that my application for a night cleaner (working alone) was rejected as "Fluent Finnish skills mandatory". Well, I guess the mop and bucket need to have clarity in their instructions, but....

    Seriously, it's my feeling that this is a rather devious way to discriminate against capable, able-bodied non-Finns.

    • Just A Guy

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      Do you know why you were not (maybe) suitable for the cleaning position that required finnish language? If you have been working in the office people leave notes on their desks: "please don't mix the papers! please empty the garbage can! please do this or don't do that" and if those messages are in finnish how you will understand what that person asked you to do or not to do at his office desk/place? Or maybe you are too qualified for the position! What guarantee that cleaning company have that you will stay with them? Will you want to make a career in the cleaning business when your qualification is in telecommunications? You will leave at the first opportunity you will get in your field ... in other words you are not committed for a long term employment but just as for the time being until you find something in your field... No offense but the language is important!

    • Jeni Sugarman

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      I agree with oululife. And I also feel that there is limited flexibility in hiring people with none or limited Finnish language skills. If people who want to learn Finnish never even get their foot in the doorway how are they meant to even actively participate in life here in Finland.

      To learn a language successfully one needs to be immersed in the language. This does not happen enough in the streets as most Finns (in Helsinki) want to speak English. And the courses are so heavily grammar based that one needs to have a very specific mindset to be able to learn the language that way.

      So basically most Finnish language learners are facing an uphill battle learning the language and making there life here in Finland. And I am not even talking about feeling like you belong...still waiting for that day.

    • Oh, yea... Large telecom uses

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      English as a must. But HR was damn enough to give this reason. Usually they dont even have to explain

    • IT-dude

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      Seriously, stop complaining about it or go find another country that is more suitable for you. I came to Finland as a foreigner, learned the language, never had trouble finding a job in my own field and currently I have an above-average salary according to the national statistics. It's not trivial to get a job in Finland, not even for Finns, so don't expect people to do everything on your behalf. Improve yourself, show that you're capable, and if you think there is any other reasonable country with stable economy that is less discriminative against foreigners, please go there and tell us about your experience afterwards.

  • mangomies

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    In my opinion, It's a so common practice that its not even worth discussing. I am surprised to see how sometimes these things make news. Isn't it so obvious ? Every single person including natives and non, knows this is going on. It has happened to me uncountable times. I came here as a student and during my studiy years, I was told (by academics) that it is preferable if I decide to stay here, as my labour and skills will be needed. I changed my plans and stayed. But now,the only job I am able to get is lowest paid unskilled jobs, for which I would not even need to study. I would like to also make it cleaer that I am not compaining about it. The country belongs to natives. It is ridiculous for foreginers to complain about not being hired and so forth.

    • ulkomalainen

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      "The country belongs to natives. It is ridiculous for foreginers to complain about not being hired and so forth."

      How can you say that? How can a country belong to natives? How the hell would international business and movement happen if this was the case? What about our own and numerous other countries where foreigners are given a chance and treated as equals????

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      Ulkomalainen. Excellent contribution. Finns want to get it all and give nothing. Systematically suppresses the foreigners here. The foreigners in Finland are the most pity-able in Nordics, a self acclaimed small and rich country. Shame on all the Finnish politicians for turning their faces away from labor discrimination. Thanks to YLE news, seems the deduction in my salary is now working. More of this, discuss immigrant`s employment issue on a daily basis. Expose the TE-Toimisto front desk officers who discriminates against immigrants. Install undercover camera on a volunteer immigrant and record how exactly immigrants are treated, publish it. Before two or three cases, changes will come.

    • Jeni Sugarman

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      Ulkomalainen, this is planet earth and each and everyone of us has the right to belong, feel accepted and have a place where we can share and contribute.

      No one owns the land, though they might be responsible for it. We are fortunate, both natives and immigrants, to have a place to live. Now we need to find more ways to work together, cooperate and build cities we are all proud of.

      Immigrants are here to stay and Finns also often want to move abroad, so it is logical that the natives can learn to share the responsibility.

    • moi

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      Mangomies is on point. It is obvious and it shouldn't be discussed. Finland has used Finnish language to discriminate exclusively in all aspects be it employment, justice system, health system, whateverfuck. Posting these kind of stuff is like disturbing a wound. They say, do not tell your opponent that you have a sour eye coz he will take opportunity and pluck it out. So Yle is probably going to make a story like 'we have succeeded' after reading these posts and comments.

  • tink

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    yes , its really happening, though we are really good experience , and really good background then co. finns, but we are not choosen, it happened many times, lately with one company, were i cleared almost all 5 rounds of interview, and i got good score in each around, but still they were not able to take me, when i asked , they were not able to give any answer, just we found some better guy. for sure might be local person.

  • Sadly So

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    Two near identical CVs (nothing of substance different), one with one's normal, foreign name and one with a clearly Finnish name. Position did not require "perfect Finnish" - so no being a YLE's newsreader or a outbound telesales person - but yet how convenient the "Finnish person" got a call inviting to an interview. The nasty, foreign-sounding person didn't even get a °go away" message. One wonders why one's email box can be so quiet... mind you, the employment agency is hardly helpful. "Check our web site" is the answer to everything, even though it isn't.

    • JohnySasso

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      When I told TE toimisto that in order to get a job I must "know somebody who knows somebody", they said yes it is true. Unbelievable! And yes, check our website. When I graduated I was told to consider staying as well, which I did. As a dear finnish friend of mine said:" doesn't matter how much you know, but whom you know". Sadly true.

    • mr skeptical

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      It may not just be who you know, but who you are married to, and how many more people you know. Being a woman and not married or in a relationship with a finn, I realise comes across as a barrier, even if I have finnish citizenship myself. There is the "flight effect" that people suspect unless you are firmly rooted here. Even knowing a lot of people is not enough if you're background isn't finnish enough.

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      That is another nasty thing. Why must I be married to a Finn to get go ahead in the system ? I went for an interview, shockingly, the last question was " Are you married to a finn? I said " YES" and they asked further -Is it a native finn " ? and I said "NO" and that was the end. No wonder there are now many sham marriages

  • AH1

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    i have been working such as news paper delivery my boss he Kicked out from the job because he accepting from me i will pass his racist behave .but the main point after he kicked me out my work position stayed free for 15 months and he shared it as overtime with my EX work colleague.(which 75% from them racist )

    but also i had another couple cases still

  • JudgedinFinn

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    Well, I have a good education and experience in a specific field and I have had experience internationally that probably most Finns in my area do NOT have...BUT when I was unemployed here due to a foreign retrenchment, I sent out over 300 CV's in an 18 month period...never once was a I called for an interview...noone even bothered to meet me...just judged me...I applied for posts that I am perfect for and then for posts that are otherwise way under my skill set but I feel as I have a foreign name on my CV...it was discarded immediately.

    • Just A Guy

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      I think the problem is that you are arrogant. You think you are better then probably most finns? Are you kidding me? You know every and single finn what multicultural experience he/she has (in your field)? Now let's speculate like you do: maybe you have too many expectations and too high standards when the reality is different. Or maybe you were not suitable for any position you applied for ... or maybe you are just not better then probably most finns as you claim to be therefore you were not even invited to an interview!

    • Another guy

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      @Just A Guy. I have seen some foreign people with high knowledge in their jobs that no finn could replace them. This thing can happen easily in academia and research based jobs. As an example I can name a person who has very good knowledge in investment and stock market. He has his job because there were no finn with this knowledge available. And his boss wanted but couldn't find a finn for this job.

      I see fewer finns in high level academic programs than foreigners, and there's no surprise that there's no finn for some jobs.

      My supervisor needed me for what I could do, but never paid me any extra money. Once I told him I don't want to collaborate for a new extra project and he talked one hour trying to convince me to work almost free, because "this is good for my resume". But, at the same time he was expending quite easy for another Finn in our group. They've had good dinner parties for the people in the project, but only for Finns.

    • just my 2 cents

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      Hey JudgedinFinn,

      Just wanted to let you know that this happens to Finns as well. My boyfriend graduated from uni only to be unemployed for a year and a half. It's not only a foreigner thing, it can be tough for everyone. Don't know if that helps but wish you the best of luck!

    • A chap.

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      @'Another guy' who said "I see fewer finns in high level academic programs than foreigners, and there's no surprise that there's no finn for some jobs."

      Where are you seeing that? The basis of this article was from the exact opposite being true.

  • Joseph

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    Yes, First and Last name always stops us from getting job. I have applied to 50 position in Finland and never received reply where as I have applied for 10 in France and Germany I have received offer from 6. I have 10 years experience in C++ programming. Problem with Finnish companies is that they are scared of changes or other foreigner will take their position in future. It will take along time before Finland will become more international.

    • ulkomalainen

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      No wonder other countries are progressing while Finns live in their own bubble! Look at USA (I am not American btw) - USA is everyman's land. All Americans are basically immigrants and no matter what nationality you have, you are hired according to your competencies and qualifications. No wonder USA's economy is booming!

    • Just A Guy

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      @ulkomalainen: Why don't you move to USA if it's the heaven on earth? I'm just saying ... I'm sure Finland doesn't keep you here against your own will (unless you are in prison)!

      P.S. Finnair has direct flight Helsinki - New York and if I am not wrong were some offers quite recently. It's worth checking!

    • Porkana

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      @Just A Guy, you sound so bitter. You must be one of those greedy finns who who survive with Kela and think that foreigners are here to deprive them of the money.

    • Just A Guy

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      @Porkana: Yes I do have finnish passport for almost 2 years and I've been living in Finland now 6 years ... so you can make an assumption how "greedy finn I am" ... although it's not a piece of paper that tells who you are. I am finnish with my heart and with my passport but I will always be a foreigner in this country because that's the way it is! So the bitterness comes from a foreigner living here that appreciates this country and the people and is grateful for the opportunities he got in this country, opportunities he will have never had in his home country ... and yes I don't like when foreigners come here and take advantage of the system, accuse the locals and complain. As I mentioned in some other posts, if cases of discrimination are proved should be handled in a legal way and everybody should stand for himself and do not permit discrimination to happen. I'm sure Finland is not 100% free of discrimination but cannot be that bad because I know quite many foreigners that do well!

    • Rusty

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      Just a guy might well be a Finn. Certainly straight to the point. Well done. America awaits. The land of opportunity.

  • IT

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    This is common in this country. What is said here is like drop in the sea. You will be told this and that but at the end of the day, all was based on the fact that you are not true Finn.

    • brown foreigner

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      i totally agree!

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      It is a country of cyclical deceit. They want people from war -thorn countries, depressed, optionless with little or no ambition. That is why it is difficult for them to come in terms with any modern, educated and ambitious immigrants. No wonder, they jump at taking refugess. Why not look for skilled immigrants as Canada does ? Before any turmoil starts somewhere in the world, Finland will be the first to say, we are ready for refugees. And Päivi Rasanen is busy recruiting refugees all over, when their is a job crisis in Finland. I only pity the refugess, welcome to a country that will forever supress them.

  • Almost a Finn

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    I have been in Finland for almost six years now. I have been working in couple of IT companies for total of 5 years. I can say that IT sector is much more foreign friendly than education sector, however, even in IT sector your last name and where you got your degree play a role in getting a job. Having Finnish citizenship does not matter either if your last name does not match to companies liking, so many CV's got dismissed by looking only at last name, or home university. They think it is better to get average Joe (or Mikko) which graduated from some Finnish UAS. This makes me pretty sad, such mentality does not allow fresh blood or new prospective to merge within Finnish companies, which leads to company closing down eventually.

    I am in mid twenties and I know that Finland needs me more than I need Finland. I am young tax payer and government needs people like me to cover the costs of aging nation. Anyway, I decided to leave Finland, and let those PerusFinns save the day.

    • Mike

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      Totally agree with you! Finland needs skilled foreign citizens to pay taxes and sustain the aging population (and all the benefits that they receive from the state, which is very good, but highly expensive).

      During a Master's Degree that I was pursuing in Finland I was looking for a job. I did so many applications I can not even count. No phone call, no email, nothing. Needless to mention the effort and time that an applicant puts in an application. And they don't even bother to reply to you.

      I have continued with a Doctoral Degree and planning to leave Finland as soon as I get the title. I would thank Finland for the free education that it provides and not doing anything to keep me here to pay taxes, so that I cover the cost of the education I have received.

      Finns see this, but they don't do anything. Finns have a "warm place" to live and work, so why bother with all these whining foreigners?

      Finland is the perfect country to live in, if you have a Finnish name!

    • Vee

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      I agree entirely.

      My CV's and applications have been rejected over and over again, just because my last name is Ivanova (despite my nationality not being Russian, I often get the national-wide attitude towards Russians).

      The worst case was applying for an office job (with experience, fluent English and basic Finnish skills), being rejected to a person from a third world country with questionable education, zero computer; English or Finnish skills and revolting looks and attitude, and being offered a low-level cleaning job instead, but only if I fly back to my home country, get a passport expressly (an EU ID card including even secondary info such as height and eye colour was obviously insufficient) and then make a temporal 4-month contract which, even if I manage to fill all the hours they have to offer, still won't cover the trip home and back.

      I tried to contact TurunSanomat on the matter, but they also rejected my story as unimportant.

    • hfb

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      Again, the name doesn't mean a thing. My daughter who is half-Finnish but with a full Finnish name has been called 'not a real Finn' by a 4yo playmate of a visiting Finnish Family (and likely not her own idea...) because Mom isn't a Finn. The goalpost is narrow, very narrow, and considering my in-laws retired pre-60s....they have a total of 1 half-breed grandchild and I'm waiting to see just who they think is going to fund their early retirement since so many of the native Babyboomer Finns didn't have kids or their kids didn't have kids...... retirement is a ponzi scheme that isn't going to work for Finland unless they get a little more modern with their attitude about foreigners and the language requirement. Maybe it will take some pain before reality sinks in.

  • Rusty

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    Being an Englishman living and working here in Finland, I have personally found absolutely no discrimination of any sort. I have been treated as an equal to fellow Finnish co workers. Skills, experience, qualifications and attitude have been the only points considered by my employer and not Nationality. I find Finnish society to be a fair and just. Even during the economic downturn, I have been shown nothing but respect from Finns, a mutual respect for ones own culture. However the differences between a Finnish person and a English person are only very slight.

    • Gordy

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      I agree, I have never been discriminated against because of my nationality; quite the opposite in fact. I'm English, and most jobs I have applied for I have got, and I've always been treated curiously. Having said that, I know that discrimination does exist, and it can depend on factors like, region, and one's nationality. It can be very easy to play the discrimination card when it comes to looking for work. In many cases people are not suitable for the position they're applying for. It's also worth noting that learning to speak Finnish will open many doors in the search for employment.

    • Peter

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      Of course 1 out of 10k will have your experience. But the truth of the matter is that, nationalism superceeds competence here. Non Finns are really suffering in this country. It is not about the perfect Finnish or qualifications. It is just that only Finns should be in Finland.

    • doodle

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      Yes off course, people from a native English speaking country are regarded highly in Finland so no doubt people from those countries would be favoured over other non finns.

    • Jeni Sugarman

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      Rusty, I think you have hit the nail on the head. Many issues with immigrants struggle to get work is cultural misunderstanding. Natives are used to operating in a particular way. So when someone comes with a different way of expressing themselves it is likely that they just don't get along, and as much as we all want fair practice, body language and ways of communication play a large role.

      Not everyone can behave like a Finn or an English person, nor should they. The beauty in our world is diversity and locals need to get better at accepting this. Why? Well there is no choice. People are coming to Finland from all over the world and either they will need to be welcomed into the working community or they will get unemployment benefits until the locals cannot bust a gut any more. So one way or another, the gates will have to open.

    • English success

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      It seems from these Comments that English people are highly successful in landing Jobs in Finland. I would like to know a bit more about this from the English such as does your job requires you to speak and write in finnish daily?If so, how fluent are you in finnish?

    • Sharkey

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      Finland's employment culture is very much based on paperwork. If you don't have the certificates to work in a particular field, no matter how simple or benign it is, you aren't normally considered. Simple jobs like Barwork require an Alcohol License. This goes for Finns as much as for foreigners - often more so, since experience alone in the bar is seldom enough to get them a job - they would need to study a bartending course for 2 years to work.

      This is anathema in other countries, as barwork is often considered to be at the bottom of the chain, something done while studying for a degree in something that will pay better for the rest of your life.

      You are in Finland. You need to learn Finnish. Interviews I've been on, employers would recommend courses, because it's unsurprisingly a prerequisite to employment. It's ridiculous to expect gainful employment without the language.

      Some may not employ foreign names, but the scale is no different from other countries, as far as I see.

    • Lissu

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      I'm from Scotland and I'm also doing ok here although as a freelancer rather than an employee. I've found that Finns are very accepting of foreigners as long as the foreigner at least tries to fit in. As long as you learn and use Finnish to the best of your ability you will be able to find a job. There are still so many Finns and foreigners alike that are out of work at the moment and for the past few years. It's not really fair to shout "Racism!" every time you don't get a rejection letter. There's plenty of Finns out there not hearing anything either. There just aren't enough jobs for everyone (at least until the baby boomers start retiring). So start learning the language, start a company.. do whatever it takes, just don't sit around moaning about how the world owe's you a living because they don't. Also I know many successful business owners in Finland from a variety of countries so it's not just white British people that can make it.

  • Sally

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    I know of a case in which a very capable British business student in Finland applied for many jobs here in which he had had several years of experience in the UK. He received no responses or invitations to interview. Interestingly enough as a test case, he 'Finnishised' his name, translated CV to Finnish and applied for 2 jobs. He was instantly invited to 2 interviews! As he was applying under a Finnish pseudonym he was unable to attend for interview but proved to himself that it was not his experience that held him back here but being British.

    • ulkomalainen

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      This says it all! I also know some foreigners who have changed their names legally to Finnish name and surnames. These peope must at least be being called for an interview!

  • suomalainen only in papers

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    I am finnish but only in papers, racial discrimination and racism everywhere you go, street,school,offices,...then they talk about equality and tasa/arvo ??!

    if some one can help will be appreciated...

    • Just A Guy

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      That's correct, you are finnish on paper! I am also finnish only on paper and I am finnish with my heart! But I am born in another country and you cannot say that you are something what you are not! In the end doesn't matter what country, nationality or skin color you are! We are all humans!

      And to be honest I believe that Finland is the best country in the world that give's you the opportunity to succeed no matter who you are or where you are from! I'm not saying that Finland is 100% discrimination and racist free country, but you find crazy people all over the world! The thing is I have never allowed and I will never allow that! I will stand for myself! And that is what everybody else should do!

      Maybe is just me being lucky but I haven't encountered those issues here in Finland. I know it can be frustrating to not find a job or not understand the language, people or culture but hey I think that Finland is a very good country compared to so many others and I am happy to be here!

    • lack of multiculturalism

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      I think the problem which naturalized Finns (like I) have in this country is that either because we have black hair and brown eyes, or something else we never pass or are seen as Finn as the natives. Even that I speak and understand finnish very decently in many places (such as stores I visit) Finns can barely wait to answer me in English to "show their English language skills" and "practice English". In the US naturalized people are often called and treated as American in the same way Americans born there are treated. "Americanship" is something achievable by anyone I depended of his or her looks. In Finland even a mulatto native Finn born in the country faces curiosity and questioning from true Finns asking questions such as were they adopted or how young were they when migrated to Finland since their finnish is so perfect...?

    • another mamu

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      Friend, you need to go and leave Finland while you still can. Take advantage of that finnish EU passport and explore other places where you are viewed as a human being and competent professional. In Finland you are viewed as a monkey who can speak bad Finnish who adds nothing but a bit of drama.

  • Thomas Regelski, PhD.

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    The problem is a lack regard for international faculty. More important is the poor treatment of international students. Many have little or no support. Too many advisers don't have international reputations. There's no transparency in hiring/firing: The decision whether to offer my Docent courses were to be taught was left to a recent PhD (the 4th over 13 years). Protestations fall on deaf ears. Then the economics: for reasons not discussed (more lack of transparency) students are guided to do theses of 3 published articles that take forever given the publishing industry (= money wasted). A monograph is more efficient, but generates no credits for advisers who, often have not "advised" but take credit. Too many faculty have no international credits, many administrators have no similar scholarly standards. All hide behind traditions for teaching in Finnish when international scholarship is in English. Who will learn Finnish to understand the findings of Finnish researchers?

    • Captain Jack Sparrow

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      Very good point Thomas! Finns are silent like their lakes. The hierarchical system of ivory tower here is a much of concern now than ever before. Internationalism of the universities and the department is also gaining some momentum. However, I am not quite surprised by EU’s decision in asking Finland to sort out “racial discrimination in the workplace.” Believe me or not, they are or will be in a very difficult situation sooner.

      I like your point where you state that supervisors take credit for a student's work. It is quite common everywhere. If you go to some Arab or Asian sub-continents, you will find similar things happening as well. But, I don't understand their “bureaucratic system” where these people are in verge of retirement soon and they hiring more Finns, which also lead to a “homogeneous” group or teams. No good innovation can come out of homogeneous samples.

    • Vee

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      Speaking of international faculty, as a foreign person looking for bachelor studies, there is a very limited number of profiles to choose from, and even there it's impossible to get in without paying for coaching. I've been trying for two years now, to get into International Business, both times the lists of people who got in were 98% Finnish.

      It should be fair for foreigners to have advantage when applying for International program, just as Finns have points in advantage when applying for Finnish studies.

      As for student support, in Turku, regardless of what one's studies are, they all work at either Sol or N-Clean as they're the only ones offering work to foreigners.

  • Just A Guy

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    I moved to Finland six years ago from an EU country for family reasons. I have education and work in the IT field. Since my first day here I never had any issues in finding a job, even without speaking the language (just with english). In my opinion Finland is the best country in the world and has gave me the opportunity to succeed in my career and the most important the right to be treated equally no matter who I am or where are I am coming from. One thing I noticed when I moved here is that foreigners complain the most in this country and many blame their failure on finnish people accusing them of discrimination. And to be honest it is sad and it brakes my heart when I hear and see foreigners that don't appreciate this country and throws with mud at it. I will always be grateful to this country and to finnish people for allowing me to live and make my life here. Respect Finland!

    • E.T.

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      No one is throwing mud on anybody. You are among the lucky ones and be grateful for that. I know many foreigners like you. I am not as lucky as you but I am grateful as well for everything. Finland is a beautiful country and finns great people. But is hard as hell to get a job as a foreigner and sometimes as a finn as well. You pass judgements way too easy. Read the comments and see how harsh life can be for some. Pray that karma won't come back and bite you some day, God forbids!

    • Rusty

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      Well my friend, I could not have said it better. I have friends here from many countries all over the world, Turkey, Kenya, Sudan, Morocco, Russia, Syria,Romania, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, USA, Solomon Islands and Australia. They all work, each and everyone.

    • RESPECT

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      It is a very naive and rather selfish person who thinks that because he has not suffered discrimination (you, an EU and white person), therefore those who complain of discrimination and/or racism are ungrateful, lazy, liars! None of those who cry discrimination are saying that some foreigners are not succeeding here. Some succeeding now, even experienced discrimination before they got an opportunity. If only you could look beyond your own narrow eyes and think big person, maybe, just maybe, you might think differently. I just doubt that!

    • Lucky one

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      Even as a lucky one with a permanent position in Finland I feel there are too much nonchalance in hiring foreigners for not-so-obvious and logical reasons. Yes, employing local people is important but employing the right people is far more important to get things going! As a caveat, if I ever get unemployed I will not stay back in Finland to collect the unemployement benefits and pour out my frustrations in such forums, I will go somewhere where my professional qualities will be values and priced properly - I do love Finland but not that much to hang on to it forever :) .

    • Just A Guy

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      @E.T. I know it can be hard to find a job or start in a new country! I know life is not easy my friend and I know very good how hard can it be, I lived it I didn't read it in a book! Exactly this is the problem people don't know how hard life can be and when they start feeling it they give up and they accuse, and pull the race card because is easy! I have education and experience in IT but so far I have done a lot of work: plumbing, construction, forest, agriculture, cleaning, food industry ... I've done a lot and I am not afraid of work. If the IT will stop tomorrow as a working field I will become something else ... I will not start crying and live on unemployment! There are countries on this world and people where are not sure of their life or they don't have food, water, medicines (been there seen that)... and in Finland you get it all but is easy and then doesn't matter! People should fight for their believes and should not give up! And even more don't blame it on others!

    • question for Rusty

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      Seems you know people from all around the world who are successfully working in Finland...in which area, IT? I'd like to know, cause I've applied to many areas unsuccessfully even having 3 finnish university degrees.What types of jobs should I apply for cause from the news it seems Finland only needs foreigners to work as cleaners,nurses and bus drivers...?

    • Rusty

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      I am happy to advise you, based on what I know. Firstly let me tell you about me, then I will tell you about my friends. I worked as a production manager for a global electronic test equipment manufactures. Work migrated to China, Singapore and Hungary. I applied for a Mechanical Engineers job here in Finland, while still in my role in the U.K. Flew to Finland for a meeting, got offered the job. Yet did not move here till 1 year later, when I sold my house. I worked in Finland for 6 years, then gained employment back in England, Took my family back to England. Found life in England was not very suitable for my Children, so I picked up the phone and called the contacts I had made here. Contract sent to me by email. Away I go back to Finland. Here I am working and living happily. Knowing this is a great place for the whole family to be. By the way I am abit thick and don't speak Finnish, my big balls make up for this. Please follow on the next comment. I'm running low on letters.

    • Rusty

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      O.k now my friends here in Finland. Two English teachers, one arrive here 14 years ago with a handful of cash only. Now he has his own business and 5 properties that he rents out. A Syrian and Turkish friend both work for engineering firms. A Kenyan friend works as a welder. A Sundanese refugee, who ran from his country and the tribal wars. Basically people that wanted him to be part of the atrocities. He gained a business degree from here in Seinäjoki and after graduating, got a position down in Helsinki. An Italian did his masters in Vaasa and now works for Nissan in Helsinki. A scots mate works for a meat factory. English mates professional footballers here. An Irish mate worked as a football manager here. I have a friend has his own export business. A friend who is a company director of a big Manufactures here and like us an immigrant. A mate who worked as a hotel manager in England, he is a chef here. A Moroccan who owns a pub. A Turk has a restaurant. The list goes on And on.

  • Kate

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    racism is there at work and mostly in nursing.

  • Labbah

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    Being a native English speaker has enabled me to get work. But not a single interview for an advertised job!

  • akpumping

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    Foreigners generally do not get fair treatment in the Finnish job market. I was laid off based on the fact that I do not speak Finnish language, coupled with the fact that I am a foreigner. There's no doubt a high level of discrimination in Finland especially towards the black race.

  • Foreigner still looking...

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    I have completed My Full University Education in Finland (both bachelors and Masters degree in english). I have always worked part time both in North and south of Finland, All this time I have not been able either to land a full time job nor a place at the intensive finnish language course which TE keskus organizes for immigrants. The excuse I get is because I have been a resident over 3 years I lost my rights to attend those courses. Language is in my opinion the largest hindrance for me in getting a permanent job in Finland. Employers demand erinomainen suomen kieli Taito. To have such skills one would have to move to Finland either as a baby or young child. At first I thought it was a matter of high demands and perfectionism in finnish firms, but now I know this is just a politically correct way to say "we don't want to hire foreigners"...I hope the government can easy the rules for accessing to finnish language courses...

    • uusi suomalainen

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      I managed to get a place on the TE language course (advanced half) after four years living in Finland, after demanding it. Try to ask them to at least send you to the aptitude test, so that your score can show them whether or not you need the help.

      After that course I had to spend 2 years in Finnish language ammattikoulu, in order to improve my Finnish further. It worked, but my skills still are not enough to get around the 'erinomainen suomenkieli' job ads. Now I have another 4-8 years to earn a degree from a Finnish polytechnic. So I am spending 10 years making myself fully fit and fluent for the Finnish job market, all the time using tax money instead of earning it. I may be too old to hire at the end.

      With 10 years' work experience on my CV, it would be nice if I could give my home country, Finland, tax money while I integrate instead of being forced to spend it while training.

    • Foreigner still looking

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      Hi uusi suomalainen. Thanks for the tips, I'll try to get into the test.! I remember reading on the news when I came to Finland 10 years ago that Finland needed foreign workers, that they wanted to be seen by the world as a modern internationalized nation etc etc. Nowadays I have realized that they were talking about a few specific jobs which Finns didn't want to do( like cleaner, bus driving, nursing home work) and not about jobs in general. This is what I fear for me and you, I fear we get into our 40's without getting a decent permanent job and end up with the "too old unemployable label"...one advice that I give you and have started to follow myself...are you a naturalized citizen? Why not apply abroad to other European countries as you have the right to? I heard Germany for example is boosting with jobs and they are less pick about ones fluency in German than Finns are...of course Germany was just an example there are dozens of countries in Europe...

    • uusi suomalainen

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      Finland is my home. I chose to come to Finland to stay and have no interest in any other country -I shall not be bullied out of my home so easily. My Finnish is always improving, I use it for socialising, and I'll be fluent even if it takes another 5+ years (and it will, to get to the exacting standards of 'erinomainen').

      I can live on the poverty line indefinitely without unhappiness, however silly it is for me to use tax money instead of contribute it while my skills go to waste. I'll use them on voluntary projects that make me happy in my free time and continue to search for those work places which do not discriminate.

      We were told on the immigrants' language course to start from scratch, set our sights lower and expect an arduous journey. Completely the wrong attitude to teach and preach, but if the system wants to waste human resources on this mindset, it only hurts itself.

  • SayNOtoracism

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    Yes, I have faced racism at workplace many times and I would like to report it to someone. But I dont know who?

    • report to the ombudsman

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      I hope this will be useful to you. Good luck!

      http://www.ofm.fi/en/front_page

  • Lado

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    I simply need a signed documents from the Finnish customs to be able to do a job requiring driving a non-finnish registered company car. The customs simply called my employer don't they have a finn that could do the job? Ha Ha from the customs?

    • party racism

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      Maybe the customs worker was Perusuomalaiset ( true Finn), those people want Finland "cleansed" of foreigners...

    • Lado

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      The government need to put anti discrimination laws like it is in the UK. When companies and individuals starts getting sued to court for discrimination... I'm sure things would change. Else the government is just part of it... no wonder they got sued to the european court.

  • skilled and unemployed

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    I'm an immigrant with a lengthy CV and okay Finnish skills. I work in a field where Finnish language skills wouldn't be overly important, but I have been told on many occasions that, because I'm not a native speaker, none of my other skills matter.

    • skilled unemployed

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      Really sad they told you this...how can someone become a native speaker?By studying hard finnish language? Not possible...the only way is to be born in Finland in the next life...:/

  • Erik

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    As far as I can remember, its normal in Finland that people with MSc. degrees get cleaning jobs, universities hire permanent staff members that are Finns (except some to keep statistics right), foreigners get dismissed based on reasons like e.g. Finns have families here, scientific funding is not available to foreigners, etc. Its not even worth the news - every foreigner knows that...

  • Blackie

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    - Lack of openess:- I worked somewhere as fill in and discovered that there were openings,yet there were no public advertisements. I was expected to fit in after a few hours orientation as fill in staff. I tried my best to fit in withing two days but the moment i expressed interest the available slot, i was told to do two more shifts and that my company should never send me back because i wasnt skilled enough. I later learnt that an unlicenced Finnish student was instead hired. From my discussions, i had learnt that they had been struggling to hire a Fin but in vain and thats why they opted for fill in staff until they got one; and in the end they took on a student instead of an experienced and licenced foreigner.

    I was eliminated before i could even have any excuse of claiming that i had been fired.

    • brown foreigner

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      Agree- Job ads are opened just for formality. The candidate has already been selected (someone who knows someone)

      Less qualified & less capable Finns are selected.

      I wish I could leave this country but with my children studying here in Finnish- it's almost impossible! I hope our children have a better future in the job market!

    • blackie

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      I feel you brownie.........i chose to seperate from my family and am now working outside Finland and am happy. This was due to the anger of unfairness and the deliberate mistreatment and psychological bulying by some Native finnish employers. I miss it but still i need to work and somehow provide for them. We have to help our kids become international, ready to go wherever they feel welcome.

      Its a sacrifice we have to make,otherwise i expect the situation to get tuffer,considering the economic challenges Finland as a nation is facing.

  • Maahamuutaaja

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    I was laid-off twice in production companies. Interestingly, in both cases , only the english side was laid off.The employment office is hiding the true situation of unemployment among immigrants to government / politicians. It will harm Finland, if loads of foreign Bachelor`s and Masters`s degree holders all collect unemployment allowance, not because there are no jobs, not because, they don`t want to work, but the ladies on TE-toimisto won`t just give foreigners professional jobs. As more foreigners are becoming New Finns, there is a need to absorb them fast. Majority of menial workers are very educated foreigners, this is social crisis looming ahead. The employment office especially in Helsinki is the greatest enemy of foreigners in Finland. Government should get more involve in statistics of highly educated and qualified foreigners turned away from professional jobs. The ladies on the TE-Toimisto desks are causing a lot of harm to this country.

    • Suomi99

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      I now work in a IT company with 50% of foreigners but I clearly remember the negative attitude of those "TE-toimisto ladies" (curiously enough I encountered only women during my frequent visits to the offices) many years ago when I was unemployed in Helsinki

      They often have been pretty rude and not helpful at all. I don't have a degree but I'm pretty educated but still they were discouraging me to apply for more interesting and not low-level jobs and often even hiding some positions from me (which I was finding online but they "forgot" to mention to me).

  • John N

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    I have so far done work practice at 3 different places, at every place they treated me as a kid who knows nothing. Most of the time I did better job or at least same kind of job as a paid employee but still my work was completely ignored. I did notice that being a white immigrant in this country is much easier but unfortunately I am not. At every place, when I asked about any possibility of work ever, I was bluntly denied immediately.

    I have lived 3 and a half years in Finland, I speak good Finnish and I can also speak some Swedish. Over all life in Finland is great but just don't expect that you will be treated as a Finn, specially if you are not a white immigranrt :) I still love Finland and I kind of love Finns too ;)

    • white not enough

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      I'm a white naturalized Finn. Even that my skin is white, my black hair, dark brown eyes and foreign facial features give me away as a foreigner. I agree this is a nice country, but landing a good permanent job is hard to all foreigners independent of ones color... only those teaching in English or working in IT have some luck finding work without perfect finnish language skills...

  • Irish P

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    I have been a professional Truck Driver for 18 years driving all across europe. I tried many years to get work in finland in the same field. 4 companies i contacted to drive in germany france italy and spain all told me i had to speak Finnish. 3 companies were looking for nordic drivers to drive in sweden norway and denmark i understand and speak quite good swedish, but same again i was told i need to speak Finnish. 90% of paper work in international transport and domestic transport are in english. Finland is a very rasist country and do not give non finns an equil oppertunity in competing for employment. Finland needs to enforce european laws regarding discrimination all across the board.

    • I agree

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      Swedish is the second official language of Finland and first is some cities like Vaasa or Åland...should be worth something knowing Swedish. Have you ever considered applying to become a bid driver? Finland has enough truck drivers but lacks bus drivers...

  • Me too

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    I arrived in Finland about 6 years ago from the U.S. with a very good CV and experience to Oulu. I found that the majority of companies didn't want a person that spoke English as their native language because of the "coffee talk" during breaks, preferring Finns instead. I also found that many are engineers and do not trust those that is business people, preferring to do the work themselves because they are cheap and arrogant. I worked in public organizations and found many of the contracts were awarded to the friends of the management, making it difficult for outsiders to get the contracts that were supposed to be an open-bidding process. Also, many companies expected me to give them my previous contacts and work for them for free. Being a foreigner and trying to find work and do work in Finland has been one of the most difficult challenges in my life. I'm considering going back home.

    • jack

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      good decision buddy. me too. Cali forever :)

    • jill

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      Can I join you? I am actually considering leaving Finland and relocating to USA :) Harder since I am from Europe but still probably easier than finding something here

    • Impossible

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      Interesting - your comment on companies expecting you to work for free and give them contacts. This has happened to me so many times, i've lost count. I have a Bachelors and Masters degree both from Finland. It took me 3 years of doing free work before I could get a paying job in my field. I've never felt so used!! And even after getting a job, I find that I am constantly trying to prove myself, constantly doing much more than I am being paid for and the worst part, having a supervisor who doesn't have as much experience as I do but because they are Finn, they deserve the job. I always tell everybody who asks me about coming to Finland that, it is not a place to live, it is a stepping stone - get a good education and then get out!!

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      The problem is that Finns can`t live and work with other people. There is a very terrible culture of theirs, which make them socially unfit among other people. They become unnecessary paranoid. Many of my friends who first got married to a finn, when we came here have all ended the marriage. Some, even got married twice to a Finn, at the end of the day. They came to a conclusion, that you can`t live with a Finn. No, wonder, you will hardly see any aged multicultural couple working hand in hand.

    • sorry to disagree

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      There are people married to Finns who divorce but others don't. Every case is a different one...if course if you never get hired because they don't want to hire foreigners, this situation can put pressure on any marriage...

    • Irina

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      As a fellow foreigner here, I understand there's a lot of pain and anger in this thread but the tendency to make sweeping generalizations is quite a slippery slope. I think you need to reconsider some of your conclusions @maahanmuttaja, not for anyone else's sake but your own.

      Think about it this way: can you say that all people are antisocial in your home country? Or that all people there are wonderful? The moment you start to make generalizations about "Finns" (as in: all Finns) you know something isn't right.

    • Me too

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      Out of 100 companies I might work with, 5 were decent. I with a 95% conclusion to a statement, you can make that generalization.

  • harmless

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    I have graduated from a reknowned University of applied sciences as an IT engineer. During my study period I have tried numerous places for an unpaid internship opportunity. Having denied of an internship position I thought that things just might get better when I graduate.

    After my graduation, in one summer I have applied in more than 150 places. But unfortunately none of them even cared for an interview. Even I applied in a photocopy and scanning job, from where I got a reply that I was not eligible enough for that.

    As a result, I had enrolled myself as unemployed. After a while I requested the employment office to help me to get a job, saying that I have knowledge, I have age, I have spirit to do something. I do not want to waste my energy in doing nothing and getting free money. But they simply replied that it is easier to give me money than finding me a job

    Everywhere I have applied they asked for Finnish language. When I said I have finnish citizenship, they ask for native fin

    • Emily

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      In many years ago when I started a business myself as a foreigner. I try to apply “starting money “ from the local office who handling this. They ask me to handle the business plan and other related files. After several weeks the head of the office just told me there is no starting money for foreigner.

      I don't want to waste time to search if that is the truth. But it is good to know if that is the truth or if that is that officer's personal opinion.

    • hi emily

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      The only legal way for them to deny money for you is a) you are not a finnish citizen or a EU/Efta citizen or a permanent resident.... Either this or b) plain xenophobi and disfrimination

    • Irina

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      Emily, sorry to say but that's not true, at least not if you are registered as living in Finland. Starttiraha is available for people in the social system if you meet certain conditions: ie. no pay from other employers, you can't be a student, etc...

    • Emily

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      In fact some of the people worked in that office told me I should be able to get it. But what can I do If the head of office said not. In stead of started the business from court I save the time for the new business 8 years ago and now am running fine with my business.

  • Ahmed Raheemah

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    I have been living in Finland for five years. I can't even count all the job applications that I sent. I started with jobs in my field and then started looking for any job and I hardly ever get as much as a reply. Not even a single interview in five years in any job what so ever.

    Language is a favorite excuse not to hire foreigners. So I studied the language (Finnish) for two years and now I can speak it, but they can always say they want some one that speaks Finnish very well, which is only an excuse not to hire foreigners. I even started studying again in a different field in a much lower level (vocational education) knowing that I still won't find a job but just to answer some of the excuses, but mainly to help me find a job somewhere else because I have given up hope completely in any kind of future for me here.

  • Jess

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    It is horribly racist here. I have not been allowed entrance into restaurants at 5pm because I was with a Spanish person and we were talking to females outside. I have been falsely imprisoned and had my passport stolen by police because I was with a black person and women started talking to us. Just last week, I saw a security guard beating and dragging a foreign woman along the side walk and across the street.

    I am ashamed of my Finnish heritage and can only imagine what it is like for someone with darker skin.

  • Jess

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    And then just imagine trying to start a business in this country. So far I have intentionally hired a diverse team including Finnish people and it has caused problems with Government funding agencies (which is where the money is controlled in this country). I absolutely feel discriminated against.

  • Tampere outcast

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    I went to ask about a job, someone I knew came to the door. she said you just have to go away they won't hire foreigners as a matter of policy. Another time I went for a job loading dishes in a dishwasher and the employment agency said, it is not us its our customers who are racist so we cannot offer you the job. I took part in an immigration training scheme, while I was doing this I discovered there was a seperate scheme for unemployed finns, although we completed the scheme in finnish and came up with entrpreneurial ideas, we were told there were no jobs for us, yet the same functions were being done by newly recruited finns as innovative projects, recruited for after we had done the ideas. While at kela doing the forced finnish lessons, despite saying my proffession was as an english teacher, kela ran a jobs fair and at the fair we were told by the job advice professionals that english was needed for people to get work - this was said in finnish to an audience that was mostly finn

  • Fred

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    Well, its obvious that foreigners are discriminated against in Finland. In my experience, many companies won't even consider you if you don't speak Finnish. Increasingly adverts are written in English with no mention of Finnish language required, but then I'm told that you need to know Finnish as well after applying.

    • stuck in finland

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      I totally agree according to my own experiences. This is to say you will only have a chance to get a job in finland when there's no finns applying to it.

  • ulkomalainen

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    I am a computer engineer&have worked in Finland for several years. I&lots of people I know have experienced racial discrimination at work place when it comes to hiring, promotion or choosing who will stay and who won't.

    In a multinational company where my international experience should have been utilized, much less competent Finnish persons were always preferred. It's petty politics of the low level managers/team leads. They prefer that the small weekly meetings can be held in Finnish! They also prefer men over women. The higher level company management would no doubt prefer people like me- but this doesn't reach their ears!

    A law should be made where a foreign employee can demand an explanation in writing over why the other person was chosen over him. If the hiring manager is doing the right thing- he has nothing to fear from giving an explanation.

    If Finland has to rise&develop, employees should be given a chance based on their competencies,not race- try to learn from USA

  • roland

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    Am a foreigner I love finland but I have no words to explain my ordeal ,finnish lives their own life ,like any other countries they protect their interest hence hurting others and they want to play international politics, which is very absurd, I wish they could change their behaviour, foreign doctors and engineers wash plates in old people's home for survival

  • Just A Guy

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    Hei YLE author of this post. Why my previous comment was not approved? Do you intend to publish just comments of people that throws mud at this country and it's citizens?

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      Just a guy - Your comments are cosmetic and not realistic. 98% of the people are speaking with one voice. There is a work problem here, everyone can`t be wrong . These frustrations are real, why toning it down. It is people like you, that do not allow societal changes, giving an impression, that all is well. If we have the opportunity to investigate you , it is possible, you are one of those sycophantic praise singers , who is living is self-denial.

    • Just A Guy

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      So yes Maahanmuttaja: I know it's not easy but it's not impossible to find a job in this country just with english. Because I have been there and done that! You have to get out of the crowd, probably a recruiter get's hundreds of applications, and I believe it's not easy to make a choice who to hire and important is to get somebody whom will get the work done and suits the team/organization. I can say that quite many they ask from an applicant to have good social skills to be a team player, friendly and open person.

      Question: how many of you have got in contact with a company for a job other way then email/application form? Raise your hands!

    • Just A Guy

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      Last year when at my former employer were lay-offs, I left the company my-self because I found another place somewhere else. I sow the ad in Finnish, requiring finnish language as many know already and a phone number for more information. I called immediately and spoke english with the guy, spoke for maybe 45 minutes or so ... related to position and about non-sens things! I also told I am interested in the position and want to apply but the finnish language might be an issues as I am not yet 100% speaker. He's answer: "Please do send your application!". Few days later i got an invitation to interview, after psychological test, after second interview and in the final we were 3 left me and other 2 finns. Guess what I got it!

      My advise be a person, don't send emails, and contact them, speak with them believe me is much better then just filling an application and waiting for the already known message: "Thank you for your application. Unfortunately this time you were not selected ..."

    • Just A Guy

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      And I always believed that you will always find work if you want to work! It doesn't have to be in your field there will always be work. My first job in Finland was not in IT because I also sent CV's like many of us, but didn't get a replay so I went "knocking on the doors" because I know how easy it is to ignore an email or application and after 2 weeks in Finland I had a job! Today if I go out in the city I will probably find a job, not exactly as my education but I will find a job ... I believe people should never send emails instead contact via phone, speak with them, knock on the door, be a person, be a real person even if your name is not finnish sounding like ... you are a person and you might speak with the person in charge for the recruitment and he will definitely remember your application!

    • Just A Guy

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      I agree there should be better integrations programs and as quite many foreigners have been studied in Finland the integrations should start from schools, better cooperation between universities and companies so the students can get a working placement or even a job after graduation and the list can continue!

      There of course is space for improvements when it comes to us foreigners, but this country is already doing a lot for us foreigners compared to other countries. What finns should do? Wait for us at the airport with flowers: "here is your apartment keys, here is your car keys and here is your bank account! Welcome to Finland"? It's not easy in any country you will move, you will allways be a foreigner! Just try to adapt to local language, culture, and society and you will do well. Try to do your best! It might be easy from the beginning or it might not be but don't give up! You cannot force a country to adopt you, you have to adopt the country!

    • Just A Guy

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      Maahanmuttaja: I don't support discrimination or racism and if such cases are proved then I'm sure there are legal ways to handle that. I haven't faced those issues and I know it is frustrating and disappointing when it's hard to get it started and I also know that the opportunities I got in Finland I will have never got them in my former home country! Of course people are different with different experiences good or bad! But few people accusing on the internet it might not be the real situation! Many people say that the finnish language is an issue why they don't get a job ... it's normal this is the country's official language although many finns speak English very well. We foreigners demand our rights that suits us ... but what about the locals and their rights to use their language and culture? Aren't we guests in this country and should follow the locals, culture and so forth? Yeah I know businesses are international but still you can't force a local to speak your language!

  • Demoralised

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    I've been working at a large R&D organisation in Otaniemi for the past three years, since I moved over to Finland. The organisation has been laying off staff for the past 18 months. In my team, the majority of the persons who were made redundant were foreigners. When I arrived, there were 5 foreign persons with permanent positions here, but now I am the only foreigner left in the team. Some were subject to constructive dismissal. One was forcibly retired. One was promised over a period of months that a new contract would be given, and then was rejected. During this time, one Finnish researcher was awarded a permanent contract.

    I'm fed up. I'm an outcast at my work place and unsupported. The persons who made it a vibrant and pleasant place to work are gone.

  • Olga

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    Probably Finnish culture is to protect a local market for locals. They are up to decide: more efficiency of less unemployment. And it is fair. Of course Finnish is not the easiest language but it is essential to be hired and to socialize (and to understand the culture).

  • Rusty

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    I see my comment posted yesterday is not being shown. Maybe it's something to do with it being a positive experience here in Finland. I fear a little media manipulation here. If this comment is not posted then this English man with his positive experiences of Finland will have no option but to take this matter further to find out why! Shameful.

    • Rusty Sydner

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      You would have wondered, how I added your second name. The whole immigrants in Finland knows you, you always claim all is perfect with you. But, you arenot speaking your heart. You live in self denial. You collect Kela at the moment. Step out and be a real man. Collecting kela will gradually make you redundant for life

    • Just A Guy

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      Hei man! I had the same feeling about a post I made yesterday :) hence my previous comment above :) I thought that is some manipulation also but got published so far :)

  • john

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    This is very much true in my experience. When finnish employers see your name simply they dont give the work for foreigner. Foreigners get job where others dont want to work like cleaning berry picking. In finland race is important than education. My friend is having phd . He and other finnish friend who only have degree applied for job in a chemical lab. But because my friend us not finnish they gave work is finnish who is less educated

  • a physicist's experience

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    It is good to see the topic being openly discussed now. I am a senior researcher and living in Finland for more than 10 years. Initially when I came here as a post doctoral fellow, everything seemed perfect. But with growing experience, when I looked for a more permanent position, the reality started to emerge. The universities rejected my candidature for other Finnish candidates with much less publications and citations than me stating the reason that I am not eligible to teach in Finnish. This happened different times and at different universities. Also this practice got reflected for getting independent research funding where teaching does not matter. Last year's list of successful candidates from National funding agency of Finland shows the foreigners who are more than 10 times better(w.r.t publication and citation) than a Finnish candidate, only got the funding (only 3 out of 20) in my field. This is only the beginning and I would like to share my experience in another post.

  • a physicist's experience (2)

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    Continuing with my experience, a top official of the national funding agency of Finland suggested me to go to EU for funding when she heard about my application to the national agency saying that the chance for a national funding is almost impossible. Without even knowing me and my work, her statement clearly suggests their viewpoint for granting project to the foreigners. And it came out true...my project got all 5 rankings from the expert review committee, but no funding was granted. As a tax payer of this country for the last decade, can I expect some visibility about the research that is being funded with the public money? The expert panel's report of the funded projects should be made public, otherwise the entire process becomes farcical. Last but not the least, one private foundation announces on their webpage (even in the English page), no non-Finns should apply. Although this is a known fact that non-Finns have much less probability, announcing that publicly is a real shocker.

    • agreed

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      Once I was in a seminar where a scientific funding committee member gave a talk about how to apply fundings in finland. Afterwards someone asked him whether there are different practices when considering gender and nationality of an applicant. For gender, the speaker confirmed there's no difference. However, for nationality, he hesitated and honestly said there might be some. Everyone laughed.

  • Bilal

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    First of all, Finns are secluded people by nature and racism is second nature to them. Discrimination and isolation are practiced openly here in Finland. I have experienced personally and heard the experiences of others that, “You are good, but it’s the other foreigners we don’t like”. It’s unfortunate that Finns are stereotypical people, even though they hold high education. It’s almost like their intimidated by foreigners and think we will take their positions and bump them to second class citizens.

    I had worked for the Nokia factory and my boss a Finn, had a B.A in agriculture. There were two foreign employees working on the assembly line that had obtained a Master’s of Science and Information Technology Degree IN FINLAND! This is an illustration of the racisms practiced in the work field.

    I personally feel that Finnish people think they have exclusive entitlement before any foreigner; be it in the work place or in education.

    • brown foreigner

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      This is very true! Why doesn't someone make a list of people's work position and qualifications and then compare?

      Why cant the hiring process be transparent- something everyone can see- what was the job, what skills were needed and who was selected and why ?

  • Bilal

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    That would be because this is their country and not ours, even if we hold citizenship. I emphasize that while foreigners are recruited for jobs, this is only to make the company look attractive. Inside the work place these foreigners are not paid enough and are used for their skills and experience. Foreigners are not treated with the same dignity and respect that they are entitled to.

    • mg

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      If you've experienced discrimination in your workplace then that is a shame and it shouldn't happen, but I have to say this is patently untrue in the corporate workplaces in which I've worked. No large firm, or even a smaller one for that matter, will hire someone just to look good - it costs too much money and no-one cares. What they will do is pay foreigners less as a starting wage until they learn what they're worth. On that point you are right. Every non-Finn I've worked with has been treated very well by their Finnish colleagues. Maybe it varies based on the work situation though...

  • Ali

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    I have been here in Finland for few years and its quite common here. If you dont speak finnish and dont behave like them no matter you are even from i.e England or USA, you will find it hard to get in.

    I feel they are against culcural diversity.

    • ulkomalainen

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      which is why they live in their own Finnish bubble and the economic situation is so bad!

  • Hfb

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    I left Finland with my Finnish husband when I was pregnant ( and being female, it's even more difficult to get a job as a foreigner due to the maternity benefits ) and now our child attends a Finnish school where we live. When my child was playing with two native Finnish children of two post-doc Finns recently, the 4yo Finn said to my daughter that she "wasn't a real Finn"....she has the name, the language and the passport and yet she's still not "real".

  • bobo

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    There was a occasion where a organization I was volunteering for (also managed to get some funding for, run events in, promote across organizations), finally got funding. Apparently there was some bickering over who would get the job, when I came back to Finland some members of the board decided to meet and discuss who would be a ideal candidate. I expected a open application, everyone in the network was amazed with my work and thought I would get the job, however wanted to apply for a position, be ranked and be fair about it. After the meeting, a week later there was another meeting, where two members of the board decided to hire someone. Surprinsingly,a lady who I repeatedly try to contact over the past year who claimed she was interested in the field but never dared to talk to me, as far as I can tell has no experience in what the organization is about; but I learned afterwards that this was related to her husband and so he can help her in all her shortcomings.

  • Peace lover

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    In Finland I have had good and bad experiences at work. All good experiences happened when I was part of Nokia networks. I am working with my 4th employer and all previous 3 were Finnish subcontractors of Nokia. Nokia environment was good with lots of international people while subcontractor company environments were bad for me. But still Nokia subcontractors had some work ethics as they had to serve Nokia. After I was laid off in 2012, I found that Finnish work places are extremely arrogant to foreigners. It was Nokia that was friendly with foreigners and not Finland. I have telecommunication background with 10+ years of International experience and I have a Masters degree in communication engineering from Aalto university. After 2012 I could never find a job in my field in Finland. Every one knows that all good jobs in Finland are for Fins. So I don't hope to get a job in Finland in my area. But Fins are still not attacking foreigners; the day that starts I am good to leave Finland

  • La Fairy

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    One business who I see the head boss repeatedly arguing for the fact that more foreigners needs to be hired had a open position. It wasn't shared on any social networks, or any job boards, required native level finnish, was open for 4 days, and applications had to be sent by post. I asked him about it, and he immediately got on the defense, "we really need a finnish speaker" apparently to help them get more jobs in the future. He sounded as he knew exactly who the job was for, and perhaps by law had to make it look "open" four days to send in your resume by post. only way to find the application was to look on their website. It wasn't even shared on facebook.

  • Thao

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    My experience: applied 200 times in Finland. Never got called to interviews.

    Applied once to Germany for fun. Got the job.

  • Bilal part 1/2

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    First of all, Finns are secluded people by nature and racism is second nature to them. Discrimination and isolation are practiced openly here in Finland. I have experienced personally and heard the experiences of others that, “You are good, but it’s the other foreigners we don’t like”. It’s unfortunate that Finns are stereotypical people, even though they hold high education. It’s almost like their intimidated by foreigners and think we will take their positions and bump them to second class citizens.

    I had worked for the Nokia factory and my boss a Finn, had a B.A in agriculture. There were two foreign employees working on the assembly line that had obtained a Master’s of Science and Information Technology Degree IN FINLAND! This is an illustration of the racisms practiced in the work field.

  • Bilal part 2/2

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    I personally feel that Finnish people think they have exclusive entitlement before any foreigner; be it in the work place or in education. That would be because this is their country and not ours, even if we hold citizenship. I emphasize that while foreigners are recruited for jobs, this is only to make the company look attractive. Inside the work place these foreigners are not paid enough and are used for their skills and experience. Foreigners are not treated with the same dignity and respect that they are entitled to.

  • Conserned dude

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    The discrimination starts in Uni here. First of all the lectures rarely give foreigners a 5/5 no matter how good their work is, then thy allow Natives to even graduate without finishing the course work needed.

    Next comes the work life:

    I have personally applied for jobs and got the interview but when i showed up for the interview, thy had no interest in interviewing me anymore judging form my skin color.

    Even if you manage to get a professional job(knowing someone required), the Natives will always feel the need to double check your work and in most cases will give you zero career advancement. The big bosses will always have to be natives as a rule. Its a sad reality.

    • mg

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      on this point:

      "I have personally applied for jobs and got the interview but when i showed up for the interview, thy had no interest in interviewing me anymore judging form my skin color."

      How did you know it was based on your skin colour? Did they openly state this or did you infer it? Casting racist accusations like this should be based only on fact.

    • Just A Guy

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      @Conserned dude: I've done my studies here my friend and believe me I have quite many 5 grades on my transcript!

  • Jack Sparrow Returns

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    There is mostly closed hiring practices here in Finnish companies or in academic circles. The advertised post here is either a) for formality, b) to show government, and evade tax organizations etc. I have seen many common examples of these habits practiced.

    I believe that “nationalism” is an infectious viral disease of humankind. Those who are the racist will be the racist for their lifetime, and it will extremely hard to change their mindset. More dangerous is something called “silent racisms” as reported by many foreigners living here.

    The good news is that some companies do hire foreigners just to learn more about other’s culture. However, this practice is not gaining so much momentum as economic situation is inflating continually.

  • MrFinn

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    I do believe that there is discrimination of foreigners in the employment market in Finland. Finns make easily judgements based on the background of the applicants.

    However, for some countries outside the EU or Western States, the level of university and especially primary/high school education is so poor that the students start miles behind their Finnish counterparts when they enroll for a study program. I would not hire a single one of my ex African or Asian study colleagues if a was an owner of a firm. This is because they graduated with poor grades and couldn't acquire decent level of knowledge in for example mathematics.

    Of course nationality does not really matter in these cases, but it is easy to make assumptions based on it when you are busy manager who is trying to find a good employee. What we would need is better and more efficient ways of measuring the persons knowhow.

    • stop complaining

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      omg racisim, omg omg fuck finss ooow.

      I am an iranian woman (doing my masters here) and I had very positive experience in here. I got the job I wanted, learned the language.

      you are all cry babies. You move here like a decade ago without the speaking language, you want to be given a permanent job. Of course, the employer you are lazy and wont want to hire you. They ll think you are not going to comprehend their work culture. well, sad but they are right. First of all, I know this comment will not be published because yle wants to show only the negative examples. They want to cry out because half of finnish population isnt yet immigrants. And yes, propaganda

      For the others, well, if you dont like it here. Then do not torture yourself! The world is full of countries. But if you want to comfortable environment and social security here without respecting finish culture, without learning the language and so on then bear with the outcomes.

    • JudgeJudy

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      Inviting all suitably qualified applicants (according to CV) to an interview would be a good start. A brief discussion will highlight the fakers.

    • Decent Docent

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      This is not only an open secret among foreign researchers but it is also something that causes tensions within departments here as there are very many Finnish academics who can see & are ashamed of the disparity between a rhetoric of 'internationalization' and the realities of hiring practices.

      It is also worth saying that these practices in general hurt Finnish academics as academic hiring here is tribal - regardless of your merits&qualifications if you are not in the right professor's tribe, forget it.

      I was denied a research leadership job here last spring; I have a strong international profile but a Finn not even finished his postdoc with few publications was hired. As is often the case no proper paperwork exists, the language criteria were changed during process & no appeal procedure exists (The tribal Prof "interviewed" me by Skype from his Tuscan villa..).

      The academic quality of those guiding this process was quite poor; it is sad to see depts opt for comfort over quality

    • brown foreigner

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      I have been asked at an interview if my husband was Finnish!! What does this question have to do with hiring?

    • Just A Guy

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      @stop complaining: You have my RESPECT! Well said!

    • to Just A Guy

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      You got your opinions conveyed. But it's becoming boring when you braged about your successful job seeking experience in Finland again and again, almost everywhere in this thread, and it has become a bloody showing off. Here is not a place to celebrate your success while most foreigners in finland are sharing their not-so-lucky-and-happy experience as yours.

    • Just A Guy

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      @to Just A Guy above: I'm not celebrating my success, and this article is not for "not-so-lucky-and-happy" foreigners only! I just told my experience in this country and I don't agree when people start blaming their failure on this country and it's citizens! My point was clear and I don't like foreigners that complain over and over again! If you don't like this country and it's people please leave, go back to your own maybe is better then Finland! If you want to make yourself a future in this country, nobody here will stop you! In this country your future is in your hands! It's up to you! It's more easy to cry, complain, accuse and throw the race card instead of trying to do something! Crying on the internet will not solve your problems and will not change this country based on your wants! Thank you!

  • salem

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    Its common practice in finland, I am IT graduate from one of finnish school and doing Msc. I have been only one interview during two years and have applied more than 200 application even if I have exprience in the field. In my opinion the problems are deep rooted, It needs huge effort to solve the problem. Here is my experiance: Firstly, I passed all the practice exam but in the interview one of the interviewer asked me 'where are you from???? why you came to Finland????', It was weird question......Secondly, Employer are not intersted to call for interview for those who have foriegn names , may be this one of the Screen method even if you have qualified experience and certificate.Hence, please it needs huge reasearch and solve the problem in the job market. Otherwise, Finland will lose its valuable resource 'Human resource'

  • staffing agencies

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    While I don't directly work for one, my friends and family who work at staffing agencies say there is discrimination. They can find a qualified candidate speaks perfect finnish, english, adept at software, educated... they'll call a office and send the candidate over. The candidate was rejected, because despite being skilled on paper his skin colour didn't match the majority at the office, my friend working at the staffing agency got the call that they don't want foreign people. Many clients may say they don't want foreign people or people of certain backgrounds, they want to keep the clients and have little liberty to say that their racism is silly and a waste of talent and they work.

  • Just another immigrant

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    I came to Finland a few years ago and I remember calling to ask details about a certain job that I was interested in. My interlocutor was very talkative until he asked me where I was from. I responded 'Romania' after which there came a long pause and unwillingness to answer to the remaining questions I had. Now I still feel discriminated every time I need to visit the Kela offices and I find it amazing that it takes 8 months to one year for them to process an application, but that's another story.

    The Finnish population is getting older and they need us immigrants, it should be a win-win situation but it's not. Not when you face these situations.

    It is great that Yle had this kind of initiative, but probably the problem of discrimination will just remain in our hearts and written here in our comments.

  • Been here, seen that since 04

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    The right of living in Finland do not give you the right to work here. When you apply for a work-permit in Finland the ministry of labour investigates if there are sufficient native people in Finland who can do that particular job. If there are then there is little chance a foreigner will get the job. Almost all employers have to go through the process where they have to get this clarification from MOL before they hire a foreigner. It makes it much easier for them if you already have a work-permit. This is coming from my own experience. It's very logical (even though annoying and can be perceived as discriminatory) if you think of it - if there are people already in the country capable of doing the job then why bother hiring someone from elsewhere? This is, of course, not true for people who are here for family or personal reasons and are qualified for certain jobs. Denying a person with work-permit a job without valid reason is probably discriminatory.

  • BitLucky763

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    I am living in Finland for almost six years now. I personally was lucky enough to get job with only English language skills. Also I was not discriminated during employment except couple of times and we have good working environment. But the problem exists and sad thing is that it is getting worse with time passing. I know many people who have been discriminated based on language and appearance. I think the reason is economic downturn and unemployment faced by native Finns. When there is more than needs, everyone can get something and it does not matter. Now there is bit less than demand and only Finns will be awarded. Of course, every time justification can be found. I am surprisingly seeing a trend for the job adverts which are in English, demand Finnish language skills. So basically companies are looking for English speaking Finnish person :).

  • ForeignerbyBlood

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    It's sad to see how foreigners are treated in this country. I was offered a job as a teacher in one University, just before I started, the contract was revoked and the place was offered to Finn who had less experience than me and the person who offered me a position was transfered

    • brown foreigner

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      the sad reality! Probably, they will just make a new law to help foreigners which will just exist in name and all this will continue as before!

  • A2

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    The truth of the matter is that it is a problem everybody knows about and act out. It is a silent act by all (Finns) and especially by those in positions of authority. The average Finn on the street doesn't see any problem about that because the press and people at the helm of affairs always paint a picture of Finland as a ¨paradise¨ at the slightest opportunity publicly. Every non Finn is seen as a parasite regardless of how much they contribute to the advancement of the society. It is a known fact that diversification and celebration of competence at work place is not an option in Finland. To some people, Finland should only be occupied by 110% Finns but they can sell their products profitably to other nations. Just to take from the world but not give anything back. Let's not pretend about it because if we want a change we need to accept that Finland is still in pre-historic era. It is sad that intelligence and competence are not a criteria to secure a job here in Finland.

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      A2, that is just the problem. Foreigners in Norway, Sweden are not as aggressive as the ones in Finland. Even Swedes and Norweigians pity the foreigners here. The foreigners are just different from all other foreigners in Scandinavian, there lives have been battered by daily racism, their dreams have been shattered, they can`t even talk about it. Their ambition is watered down. No wonder, people are escaping to the UK, US and they buy a one way ticket. We settled for less too much. In BTW, how many foreign staff YLE has compared to the total number of foreigners? how many foreigners did the Ombudsman for minority have? How many foreigners are in the police, customs, army force ? Why are we so particular about the IT sector ? This is a 100% closed system that no matter the amount of immigrant rantings can change it. The EU court of justice can be the only saviour, not any finnish persons or institutions.

  • Foreigner

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    Finland is the country of native fins. All Finnish government offices consider all non-Eu foreigners as refugees except the tax office (only when it comes to paying tax). Finnish government needs tax from dark skinned people like me and in return we are free to live here as a permanent resident :). Finland is not an immigrant friendly country and Fins treat foreigners like some workers who are hired by them. Hence they don't want any foreign expert to lead. When they need work force, they hire foreigners and when they are done they fire them or stop hiring foreigners. A foreigner in Finland should not work with confidence; they just have to obey. So foreigners with refugee mindset will find it entertaining here while, ambitious people will find it horrible. These truths were hidden for some time by Nokia when Nokia was big enough. So now the truth has come out. My doubt is that should Finland consider foreigners like equals at work or when hiring even if its a part of EU?

    • brown foreigner

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      All Finnish government offices consider all non-Eu foreigners as refugees except the tax office (only when it comes to paying tax). HOW TRUE!

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      Foreigner- you have spoken everything. This is a new theory and you need to patent it " All Finnish government offices consider all non-EU foreigners as refugees except the tax office (only when it comes to paying tax).

      I coudn`t agree less

  • mg

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    Background: white Australian, lived in Finland for going on eight years, graduate level education.

    This issue seems to come up a lot amongst foreigners and I have been asked about it personally many times. My own experience has been that while many jobs ask for fluent Finnish, this was never a hard requirement in the corporate world since any medium sized or larger firm will have English as the company language anyway. In the jobs that did require it (Nokia) it was only glanced over as something to marvel at that I could speak any Finnish at all. My qualifications and experience got me the job, in several cases over equally-qualified Finns. That being said, I'm white. Without painting the entire population with the same brush, I think non-white people have a harder time in this (thankfully decreasingly) homogeneous society.

    • A Chap

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      MG, your thought about non-whites having a harder time is backed up with facts contained within this white-paper report. (Page 4)

      http://pyk2.aalto.fi/ncsb2012/Aaltonen.pdf

  • Sabur

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    Well, I have several stories to share. for last 5 or 6 years things have changed in Finland. The work environment is not friendly and acceptable for foreigners, especially from Indian or Middle eastern background. I have been working for one of the biggest telecommunication company, where official language is English.

    My manager has always been disliking foreigners from Asia, he never wanted to have one in his team. I have openly heard my immediate manager saying that "These Fu**** Indian idots are destroying our work environment by accepting to work on low salaries". Further more, another immediate manager said to me "You have disadvantages being a foreigner and not having good Finnish language skills to grow in your career", when I discussed with him my future career plans.

    I was never given proper roles, whereas the Finns were enjoying 2 to 5 roles at once and were promoted. After working about 2 years for him, I went to HR and forcefully changed my team. I have a lot more...

    • brown foreigners

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      Yes, Ive heard "these Indians...." being spoken so casually in meetings!

  • Foreigner + Job seeker

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    For most of the IT job advts, the requirement is "Good English and Finnish skills". In reality it means you need Finnish skills to get job while you need English skills to really do the job. The tricky part here is Finnish skills needed. This is a loop hole as there is not real calibration of actual Finnish skill needed for the job. For a foreign job seeker Finnish skill requirement is like 'shifting goal post'. Its hard to score as employer can change the limit. This requirement "excellent Finnish communication skills needed" is often used as a loophole to hire native Finnish people alone for any good job. I have noticed that most of the immigrant Finnish nationals struggling to find a job in Finland in IT/Telecommunication sector, while they get accepted in other EU countries. Fins trust and accept only Fins and Finnish leadership. It might take a couple of decades before Fins can accept Foreigners who look like me at work.

  • 2nd class citizen

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    I hold a Finnish passport, speak fluent Finnish, am a DI (not from IT-crowd), have lived here for 7 yrs and... unfortunate enough to have an oriental forename & surname and matching looks.

    Employment? Forget it. More than 30 applications this year, one interview by phone, all came back negative. When you call they say they have found an insider to fill the job. A lousy excuse (why publish the job if your priority is in-house staff anyways?), still you can prove nothing, case closed.

    That is the cause, Finns know how to hide facts and give answers where they cannot be caught by the hand in discriminating someone. Same applies to harrassment in workplaces. It's hopeless unless people start saying out loud in international media that Finland is not no.1 country for immigration and well-being for anyone but Finns, then maybe smth changes or at least newcomers will know what is ahead and consider other options.

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      That is the mistake many foreigners are doing. They continue to be silent about it, rather they struggle to get this and that until they are exhausted, old and finally live a wasted and unfulfilled life. Finns will continue to shift the goal post. Speak more Finnish, get more motivated, jump there and here. Some foreigners are quick to realize this, take a break and jet out of the society. They arrived in the UK, withing months their stories changed. Nothing is wrong with foreigners here, it is the finnish system that many things are1 wrong with

  • Sally

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    It is very difficult in the first place to find a job in one's own field as opportunities are rare. Secondly, for highly educated wife of foreigner employee who moved to Finland to join husband find it very difficult to find a suitable position. While in my own country I have been earning a handsome salary as good as my husband. It is extremely disappointing to receive an unemployment allowance, go to Finnish classes and do nothing with all the education, skills and experience I already have. I feel my talent and brain may rot if this situation continues, Although, I worked at a renowned Finnish company and had demonstrated my skills to earn an excellent testimonial, my boss decided to place her own favourites and throw me out. This company believes in equal employment opportunity

  • Jaccuse

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    The discrimination in employment is so obvious in all sectors, its strange such question is even asked. I and my environment have experienced it countless times and it has become natural to take it into account in our career-planning. The demand for language skills is highly over-played and the suspicion is that this is just another excuse. One eye is always firm on options abroad.

  • Jaccuse

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    ..often it is more promising to speak perfect English, than to speak good Finnish with a slight accent. With good English you can often gain a certain respect, with a slight Finnish accent you generally run a risk of being stereotyped ´migrant´.

  • funkpad

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    yes definitely racism does exist. The worst part is that quality and skills are proven worthless until you happen to be a Finn. It seems there is a good amout of prejudices and stereotypes in a typical Finnish employer. The luckiest non Finns happen to come from a native English speaking country; the best choice being USA. Good luck and chance encounters prove more useful than real abilities and surprisingly a lot of jobs that never ever need any Finnish language skills are advertized as Finnish language mandatory. Sadly I have experienced that Finnish employers can be very arrogant and disinterested to offer job to a very eager and skilled student if the student is not able to prove his point in Finnish. I wish Finland understands that more than foreigners needing jobs in Finland, it is Finland that needs foreigners because Finland is not the country with the best weather and opportunities. The quicker Finnish employers understand this, the faster they will support their aging economy

  • DAB

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    The hiring of foreign researchers at Universities in Finland is just to make up some statistics to fool the outside world. In reality, we face continuous discrimination, difficulties in funding from national agencies or foundations, abuse from heads of departments and unfair treatment in promotions/positions in academia. After several years in a Finnish University, I would strongly recommend to people to think carefully before coming to Finland for a career move. Even if a more transparent system becomes available in the future, the politics and influence are so strong in finnish academia that the system will soon become useless.

    • Maahanmuttaja

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      The best way as a foreigner to lose your dream is to move to Finland. You will see your dream, you will see Finns achieving that same dream.But, only in your dreams will you become that you wished.

  • Evelina

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    Oh please! Even foreign-educated Finns get discriminated at recruitment here, let alone foreigners. Foreign work experience or diplomas are not appreciated, even Finns who studied at Oxford or the LSE find it hard to find employment here. Most never even get to be interviewed. Indeed, the same people who have no problem finding work matching their education in London.

    Finnish "internationalism" is a joke among Finns living overseas. In reality jobs are given to those who employers already know, or who come from their own "networks", with a references of a previous colleague, friend or the like. Its tragicomic Finns believe there is no corruption here.

    Or how does this sound: the state recruitment website lists a job, which requires applicants to have "substantial experience in public sector communications". Out of 158 applicants the person who gets the job is a previous employee of the agency, who graduated in 2011 and has some 2-3 years of work experience in the job.

  • Finn with a Finnish name

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    I've applied for A LOT of jobs during the past years, and I hardly even get responses. I think that most problems regarding recruitment in Finland is the fact that there are no jobs. Those jobs that DO exist are either cut off and transferred to another position, hence increasing more people's workload, while at the same time saving money. Internal job switches happen a lot as well...

    Good luck to everyone, no one has stopped you from starting your own company/freelancing - maybe there should be/is a forum for foreign expats to organise yourselves and co-operate?

    • Hyvä veli

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      Good idea to go by yourself as a entrepreneur. But the same hyvä veli or dear brother group that exists in the business community of Finland will make sure you die unheard and unrecognized. There has been many cases of international private entrepreneurship in Finland which has suffered from "we do not care about you" attitude of Finnish business community. Not only that, TEKES, the organization which is suppose to support Finnish businesses also are part of this old buddies network and flush tax-payers money to the people they "know and believe in".

    • An Ex-freelancer

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      Dear Fin with Finnish name,

      Its impossible for a non Fin to sell a product to Fins except those food items with non finnish flavour. So you have restaurants by foreigners in Finland and nothing else from them ;). Fins buy only from Finnish suppliers even when the sales person does not know what he is selling. Just imagine the competence of the Finnish person on the buying side ;)

  • 2nd class citizen

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    If we dig deeper into the way many Finnish mistreat foreigners we may come to the same conclusion as in the aticle I read today.

    http://www.uusisuomi.fi/asuminen/70573-yksi-sana-kuvaa-suomalaisten-onnellisuutta-naapurit-enemman-uhka-kuin-mahdollisuus

    "For Finnish people, neighbors are more of a threat than a possibility". How can local people like an Indian or Thai if they dislike even their own?

    That is sad, very sad. For Finland, too, in these hard times when a neighbor should be thought of as a friend, not enemy. Neighbors survive together better than each of them alone.

  • Mr. Notgoodenough

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    Since 7 years am an executive manager in an organisation build by migrants. Since we became rather popular and relevant, the authorities told us we had to change structures. Their negotiator told us they would send us a new director who would have been ´educated at a certain Finnish High-school (in his hometown) and have strong roots in Finland´. (We are not aware any non-Finn would have ever graduated from there.) I was even offered a higher pay, if i would step aside and take a minor role, the Finnish person as my new superior naturally with an even higher pay. After rejecting this, our funding was cut by more than half.

  • Very much so

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    I've got a university degree, and I've been trying to find a job in Finland for 14 months. I'm from a western EU country and it's still impossible.

    All jobs require fluent Finnish. Even jobs that have nothing to do with Finland. Export heavy businesses where the majority of their revenue comes from abroad still to require fluent Finnish. How will Finland ever compete internationally if you need Finnish to everything when it's really not needed. I'm a native English speaker, which should be handy in this country, when so many struggle with professional english.

    I've applied to about 100 jobs and not gotten one single interview. Not even a call. In most cases I don't even get a mail telling me that I wasn't selected. Of these 100 jobs I've been qualified to all except that I do not speak Finnish. And it does not stop there, by significant other is a Swedish Speaking Finn and his skills in Finnish are always questioned as well when applies for a job.

    • Foreign devil

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      > In most cases I don't even get a mail telling me that I wasn't selected.

      This is one aspect of The Finnish Way that annoys me immensely. It's just so rude.

  • brown foreigner

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    Have worked 10 years in Finland IT sector with international companies where working language is English &have witnessed so much discrimination against foreigners that I can't even imagine what happens in companies where Finnish is required!

    Promotions & salary-hike are almost impossible to get. Under-performing Finns who take coffee break with the bosses every hour preferred in everything!

    The working language is English and one has to interact with colleagues round the world but our international experience is never appreciated or made use of! I have seen Finns who cannot even speak/write proper English in international meetings preferred over experienced foreigners.

    And yes, they would never give a managerial position to a foreigner. The foreigner must work under them while they hire and promote their own friends and relatives.

    Maybe slightly easier for a foreign man who goes out his way to have coffee &beer with you- but God help a foreign woman employee!More follows...

  • Lucky

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    I'm an educated white guy, and a native English speaker. These factors, plus luck, are what I attribute my relative success during my 15 years here in Finland. I agree with those who see the narrowness and absurdity of those commenters here who essentially say "I'm doing fine...so there's no discrimination."

    I make my cash in the corporate world here, and I think one reason I don't experience the discrimination that defines so much of Finnish work life is that my colleagues and clients interact regularly with people and places beyond our little borders. In fact, I often sense that they value their interactions with me in part because I'm unstressful "practice" for when they have to professionally engage more internationally (conferences, sales trips, etc).

    My second post will address my rather different experiences here as an artist with some insights into the academic world.

    • Target

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      This.

      I respect the horror stories. I have witnessed racist behaviour in the Finnish workplace.

      No one has mention the overall lack of job opportunities in Finland, comparative immobility of labour, and total lack of casual jobs - compare with any major country especially the UK and Finland has next to no jobs.

      Finnish businesses only need foreigners when they need to export. Foreigners in Finland need to grasp that reality. This will only change if there is a massive skills shortage.

      If you are looking for work in Finland, as a foreigner, especially with limited Finnish skills, you have to be offering something unique that enables export business.

      There can be no apology for what is an inherently institutionalized racist culture BUT the job market is basically non-existent when you compare it to other (European/Western/developed) markets.

  • brown foreigner

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    Foreigners were hired when the company was booming and needed skilled workers were is short supply. Now, when the company is going down- they are first to be thrown out. And what should a foreigner do- pack his bags in middle age and move to another country? What about the children who are studying in a Finnish school? They cant just be uprooted and made to study in another language in another country!

    The question is- WHAT IS GOING TO BE DONE ABOUT THIS?? Who is going to ensure that:

    1. A qualified, suitable foreigner is called for the interview in the first place (which never happens- even though the job ad seems tailor made for you)- again talking of jobs where Finnish is not needed (big international companies)?

    2. The selection,promotion,salary-rise &Layoff process is fair & based on qualifications & competence ¬ race/relations/friendships/contacts?

    What is the point of all of us even writing all this if all this is sensationalism about which nothing will be done!!!

  • Lucky

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    As mentioned in my earlier post I'm also an artist and have a much more academic than corporate background. It was counter-intuitive for me when I first came to Finland to realize that the business sector is much less xenophobic than the arts and academic world. This is the opposite of my experience in my home country.

    This used to really bother me, and I spent a lot of time trying to understand it. Part of the answer is what I already wrote about earlier: for Finland and individual Finns – to succeed in business internationally they need to not just engage at an international level, but truly exchange ideas. But this is not nearly as true in the arts and academia. In fact, Finnish artists and academics are seen as representatives of the collective Finnish experience. So, to the typical (unreflective) Finnish mind, giving grants and positions to a non-Finnish artist or academic would be as absurd as appointing non-Finns as Finnish ambassadors, diplomats, etc.

    • Target

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      Yes. This as well.

      In business Finns realize the need for foreign employees - and the value of company cultural diversity - to reach other markets. In the arts they do not. I agree that partly that is some kind of response to cultural preservation. I also think it is because the trickle of Finnish arts exports is fairly constant and there is no real ambition.

      I am close to the music world. The bizarre irony is that large numbers of Finnish music artists write and perform in English. I have studied in this area and I will stick my neck out. Close to zero Finns that make English music have any chance of success in English language markets. This is mostly because of ear-unfriendly grammar and pronunciation. They don't really care though. Exports continue to Germany, where there are no native English speakers to wince at the delivery. And some kind of cultural isolation is sustained. Also compare arts funding with the paucity of contemporary Finnish quality artistic product...

  • Jenkki possu

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    I'm a PhD student in Finland, and I decided to pursue an academic career after realizing it was my best chance to get a decent job here. I've had good opportunities in academia, both as a paid research assistant and now as recipient of a 3-year grant from a major Finnish funding body. I have US/Finnish citizenship and know good-enough Finnish.

    People have commented here that being a native speaker of English is an advantage. Clearly this is true, and while it stinks, I have to take my advantages any place I can get them. What other advantage is there as a foreigner in Finland? I still wouldn't bother trying to find work on the open job market.

    I'm hopeful that I'll be able to find a permanent teaching position in a Finnish university, largely due to my good academic network within Finland. But after eight years here, watching the rise of the Persut and the tolerance for open racism even among elected officials, my early enthusiasm for "becoming a Finn" has definitely diminished.

    • Specialist

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      I totally agree with you. I lost my faith with Finland to be a "homeland" out of home diminished along years of staying here.

  • Lissu

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    I am one of the lucky ones, a native English speaker working for the city. But I, and at least 7 other foreigners hired (only one continues with me) could get paid our full and rightful paychecks as promised for the first year and a half of work! We were told arrogantly that our educational backgrounds, which were exceptional, had to be investigated. We had international experience and superior educations, but half the pay. Finnish education is good, but not at the university level. It is very sheltered and small, it doesn't offer pragmatic real-world experience and is too theoretical. Yet they act like their universities are better than Cambridge, Oxford, or Harvard. Why did only foreigners all get this ridiculous accounting problem, getting only half their salaries for an entire 18 month period? It was repaid eventually, but that was too late for several immensely talented people who left. Finland needs foreigners more than foreigners need Finland, but they sure don't act like it.

    • degreestudent

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      I agree with the university part, LOL.

      Do you know that Aalto University exempts EU/EEA folks from taking a USD300 English test and YET people from Singapore, the Philippines and India are forced to take this test, even as their native language is English?

      Well I graduated from the National University of Singapore, ranked 24th in the QS global ranking last year, and Aalto is like ranked around 190th or something on the same benchmark. I voiced this matter to Aalto four times, and nobody bothered to give a reply yet. And obviously I didn't get my refund (yet?).

      Oh and by the way, the NUS transcript saying "the medium of these courses is English" is not enough. You have to take a mandatory middle-school English test because you are Asian and therefore your English sucks.

      I thought my case was bad enough, then I came to read this forum and realized it's only a small tip of the gigantic iceberg. haha.

  • Rusty

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    After reading all your comments here, one question of many questions I have to ask is this, why are you here still. If the job situation is so dire for yourselves, surely it would be worth while moving back to your countries of birth. Did any of you actually think to gain employment with a Finnish company before coming to live here. I did. I thought it both irresponsible and foolish not to. I moved here 7 years ago, worked here for 6 years, then got a job back in England, moved back there for 4 months and didn't like it. While there I gain employment back in Finland, so I moved back. I am white, English , I'm an engineer, and have been fairly successful in my past endeavors. However I have many friends here, of different races and Nationalities that all work and have some that have been given opportunities that we're not available in their own countries.

    • Jaccuse

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      I can tell you that i have seen loads of people leaving. Mostly the ones with the best degrees and the most mobility. Having a Finnish wife or husband and children here makes it hard for some people to move on. They could be considered the most unfortunate ones, as they are being trapped.

    • Out of Country, Out of Mind

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      Hopefully I can answer this from my experience. I left Finland after 10+ long years, and I must say it was not an easy move even after my family decided to go.

      - After spending so many years in Finland, most of my professional connections were here. This is the intangible cost when you need to move country.

      - My children were attendin Finnish school/daycare, they knew no English. On the other hand, my wife and I put in considerable efforts to learn Finnish, mentally it is hard to let go.

      - Being 10+ years older, I was not sure how adaptable I would be in the new country.

      - Though my wife and I both earn good income, tax is high and everything is expensive, we did not really have much saving in cash. Also there are other financial considerations like selling house etc.

      Despite these, I still decided to go because I don't think my children will have a bright future in Finland. Though born in Finland with impeccable Finnish skills, they will be still discrimated.

    • uusi suomalainen

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      The "if you don't like it why don't you leave" argument is often a cop-out designed to bolster exclusive attitudes and avoid addressing issues, debate and opportunities for change. It's also a very narrow view. A person can like everything EXCEPT for the discrimination that is reducing their quality of life. And as it is what it is - discrimination - an inherently unfair thing, tell me, why is it that the victim is responsible, why should they leave instead of asking that the unfairness is rectified?

      I found a job before I came here, but lost it when the company downsized some time later. I came here because it's the place I want to be. I could go anywhere, sure, but this is my home. This doesn't mean that I wish to encounter a glass ceiling in my endeavours based on my race, country of origin or mother tongue. I am willing to, and do, put in a lot of effort to integrate.

    • Jaccuse

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      Sad but true and you made a good move, for your own and your families sake!

    • Lucky

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      Rusty, are you seriously suggesting that simply because one chooses to seek work in a particular country – for reasons of family or anything else – this validates, or at least excuses, racism?

      Your logic appears to be on the level of a 7 year old: "But Billie is doing something even worse than me (so that excuses my misbehavior). You did say you work in a logic-oriented field?

    • Rusty

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      Lucky is that really called for! Please allow people their opinion and the chance to tell their own story, with out insult, due to ones objection. Please reframe from twisting my comments and using the Racism card. Obviously I hit a nerve and for this I do not apologies for in the slightest. This World is full of different types of people, all with different views and opinions. When I stated my point about a person up rooting and going home if they were unable to find work here, is a perfectly sensible question. I have a Finnish wife, children born here, but a couple of years ago when work with in the engineering sector was declining, I decided to seek employment back in Manchester. I was offered a job and moved back. I found it was the same old shit hole, not right for my family. Picked up the phone and got a job back here. Some people react with change and other just moan about it. I do feel for people who are regetted because of the tone of their skin, but not moany twats.

    • Rusty

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      Rejected I should of stated there. Before the procrastinators get picky.

    • uusi suomalainen

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      Rusty, you ask for discussion without insult, and then call others "moany twats".

      They are moaning about injustice, trying to bring it to light. You are also moaning, but not about injustice - you are moaning about those who try to struggle against it.

      Again, before you belittle a person for 'moaning', listen to their complaints, and understand their reason for speaking up. The fact that you would not complain about what you see as an equivalent situation does not mean that others should not, or that your method of problem solving is superior to theirs.

      Complaints are not simply negativity that should immediately be shot down. They are communication, and when there are as many voices being raised as there are in this comment section, it really is time to listen and prepare for change, instead of dismissing the issue.

    • leftist

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      well, I actually... left! with my Finnish husband and half Finn Child. After I left the country, I noticed that Finnish style is not at all popular in the world. Finnish business skills are not very successful and Finnish business is not. Whatever you think you are accumulating in Finland might become nothing once you arrive in another land.

      So I'd suggest people who consider to move to move it soon. Because there is nothing really to gain by prolong your staying here.

    • hfb

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      "Despite these, I still decided to go because I don't think my children will have a bright future in Finland. Though born in Finland with impeccable Finnish skills, they will be still discriminated."

      One of the most common complaints of expat couples containing one Finn was that their children were treated like half-breeds, often taunted at school, etc. which was one of the multitude of reasons I wanted out when I got pregnant. Even now, some of my daughter's young Finnish friends where we live now have said that she's now a 'real' Finn (which at 4 years of age doesn't come from the child....).

      It's a very narrow set of requirements that, if not met, you will fail the sniff test.

      I keep watching to see what will happen as the boomers age and the kids aren't getting hired; someone has to pay the bills and the pensions. It won't be me, my Finnish husband or my daughter.

  • Anonymolainen

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    I was lucky enough to land a job in a diverse IT company after years of sending applications. It's more than clear to everybody that your firstname and lastname can be detrimental when it comes to your hiring chances. Of course, that's not 100% of the cases, but the number is still pretty high. It's more likely that Ari-Pekka will get the job than Kumar who's equally qualified AND speaks good Finnish (for a non-Finnish-demanding job, of course).

    Laws will never change this. Ever. What needs to be done is informational campaigns for Finns to understand that their country is getting older (median age going higher), and the population growth is very low. They need to understand that unless new blood enters the market, soon the tax input will not be able to fund the gigantic Finnish wellfare-state machine. As higher percentage of the population become above the working age, the state will find it more difficult to fund their pensions and healthcare. Simple math. Simple history information

  • Since 2006

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    Took me 5 years to get a permanent job. My job does not require Finnish skills since English is the company language.

    Usually, i get a fluent Finnish is a must rejection if I apply for a job in other companies. Have sent around 300 applications before I got my current job.

    My wife is Finnish so I believe I should be used to Finnish culture...

  • Futuristic

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    This is probably what Finland desperately wants so that they can get rid of us - the whining foreigners :) .

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-28316199

  • Out of Country, Out of Mind

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    I moved to Finland before the dot com bubble busted when jobs were abundant in IT sector, and was always employed until I decided to leave from Finland.

    Despite my moderate success in the job market, I have seen several cases of discrimination based on race.

    1. My team was recruiting two support persons. I can clearly see that people pay more attention to the applicants with Finnish names, and some even declared that at least one new hire should be Finnish, though the working language is English and the customers we serve are global.

    2. I work in a niche field, in which everyone knows everyone, and I was one of the experts in this area. Even so, I know that nearly all my Finnish colleagues have been approached by head-hunters and none of my non-Finnish colleagues (including myself) had ever got calls from head-hunters. I have also once sent in my application for one position that matches my experience well, and never got any reply.

  • east_side

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    This is a very interesting topic. Finnish society has its intrinsic characteristics which reflect also in work/business life. It is true that on the same skills, a local language speaker would be preferred, but isn't it the case everywhere? And, how much of that is bias and how much is it for efficiency at work? You have to be much better than a finnish language speaker to compensate the lack of productivity based on language (or your skills in very short supply). I have been lucky and employed full time for more than 6 years, my total permanent stay in Finland. I can see a change of attitude recently, when economy started to go down: people see you as an income thief, not anymore as a source of prosperity for them, as it use to be 5 years ago. I was trained abroad and been on private healthcare, so my tax to finnish state is 100% their profit. I still don't really feel I am getting much back or I will ever get anything back.

  • Branding

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    Though I know that discrimination does happen, I cannot say it has happened to me. Two years ago I came to Finland, and got the first job I applied for. For every application I have sent, I have received responses. Most of them positive and leading to further discussions. So despite having a foreign name and basically non-existing Finnish, I am able to level the playing field with the Finns. What is important is to show how I bring value to the company, what I can do for the company and not what they can do for me.

  • hmm

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    My boss once said that i can't celebrate finish holidays because I am a foreigner and the holidays from my country I can not celebrate because I'm in Finland

  • Tom

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    I came to Finland to study at University some 10 years ago. I got actually hired on a position funded by Academy of Finland. I rented an apartment without any problem. Then I got assistant position at our Department (I was selected over two native Finns). I got also reasonable own funding. And now I have my own Academy of Finland grant (approx. 15% success rate). So in my case I have to say that Finland was treating me fair. Language skills are also not big issue in academic sphere. Most forms can be filled in English. When I compare this with my native country (Czech Republic) where most of the forms or grant applications exist only in Czech and are required to be delivered in Czech even from foreigners... I have to defend Finland as fair to foreigners, at least in academic sphere.

  • Depends on where you come from

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    I think it's obvious that Finns only want immigrants to do the dirty jobs, as cleaners and whatever else the Finns don't want to do themselves. It's absolutely appalling how the media and authorities have talked about "needing" immigrants for this very purpose for years now. As a foreigner, yeah, you might get a job, but you'll never earn enough to live as well as Finns and secure your future. You're just not given the opportunity. And you should always stay quiet and pretend that it's all good, otherwise they'll tell you to go back. Immigrants are second class citizens to this nation. Watch carefully, it's very clear everywhere. Of course it also depends on your background. Finns love Italians, the Irish, Americans etc, but have a totally different attitude towards Eastern Europeans and people from other continents, which they expect to be their slaves, basically.

    • Me too

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      They treat Americans like crap outside of Helsinki, just like everyone else. Know a number of unemployed Americans here.

  • NY2Helsinki72

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    I came to Finland 4 years ago. I worked in sales and marketing in NYC at fortune 500 companies, but in Finland I was not even granted an interview at companies whose working language was English. I sent resumes to over 100 companies and I began to think there was a problem with acceptance of foreigners. I was told that my name sounded too black and I should anglicize it so that Finns would feel more comfortable. I eventually gave up and started working as a freelance English teacher since securing a permanent job was out of the question

  • Phuc

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    Although it is difficult to compete equally with the locals (native Finns) and some consider this is an issue of discrimination, I am a pro for Finns' attitude which is conservative enough to uphold their values and preserve their culture. OR, otherwise, millions of foreigners will take their jobs as seen in London, Paris and many popular cities worldwide. Also, millions of immigrants will ruin the country of nature, peace, and freedom. Most importantly, it is a country of civilized, sincere, trustworthy and friendly people. It is surely not a place for to accommodate people with low self-esteem, low respects to each other and low self-awareness. Again, to preserve its high standard, culture (maintaining these to uphold good people), it is not a mixture nor a melting pot of the miscellaneous.

    • Rusty

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      I could not agree more. At last somebody who really understands what the Finnish people's objective is. Preservation of a harmonious peaceful society.

    • can

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      Ever been to Canada? Millions of new immigrants there. Yet, if you visit Banff national park, you will find it cleaner than Nuuksio.

    • Preservation_to_Extinction

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      You do have a valid point. However, if you juxtapose that 'preservation trend' to other statistics e.g. birth rate and death rate, where Finns have low birth date and ironically with a high death rate. you will draw up the conclusion that a better system is needed in the coming decades. At the moment, the reality is that those with the moral and genuine compulsion who wish to contribute to the development of the society have7 are already making plans for their exit- for most part, due to their unsavory experiences!

      Selah!

    • Suomi99

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      And don't forget those people are not Arians!

      They will pollute the pure Finnish blood by coming here!

      You are so right "Phuc"! Everyone knows that ALL the foreigners are dirty, uneducated, careless about culture, unfriendly, uncivilized people as you said. While ALL the Finns are totally the opposite!

      Mixing cultures is so wrong and never worked in history!

      Thank you for opening my eyes!

      /sarcasm off

  • Truth be told!

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    The truth is in some job areas its so difficult for a qualified foreigner to land a job that if it wasn't for Kela's benefits, Roma people wouldn't be the only beggars Finns would be seeing in the street...

  • Espoo_is_my_home

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    My first experience with the employment office ,upon arriving in Finland, was being asked if "Yale University (I am a Yale graduate ) was a community college or' something ' in the states"! The woman had never heard of Yale and went on to suggest I apply to become a cleaner or better yet, a maid in hotels.......With this attitude, Finland will continue to NOT attract well trained and/or well educated foreigners who actually are committed to making Finland "home." Ironically, when I was offered employment back at Yale (pays better than cleaning toilets in Finland), I was told that I could not leave Finland because my youngest, a Finnish-American, had not reached the age of 16.

    • derpina

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      Good for her for failing to be impressed by your empty elitist credential. Why do Ivy graduates expect everyone to marvel at the brand name of their school and grovel at their superior feet? I don't know why I should be more impressed by a Yale grad than a grad from a good community college as it tells me nothing, frankly, about their intelligence, competence, skills, or character.

    • Rusty

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      A bit harsh that, but I get your point. My friend is a graduate of Oxford, but sadly here in Finland he did appear rather average. I know I shouldn't say this, (although I have told him to his face) he didn't have much common sense either. Back in England we might use the term as thick as two short planks.

    • Confused

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      "Ironically, when I was offered employment back at Yale (pays better than cleaning toilets in Finland), I was told that I could not leave Finland because my youngest, a Finnish-American, had not reached the age of 16."

      Sorry but I have to ask who exactly told you that?? not that i need a name but was it a Finnish official and what sort of official if so? i mean you could have ground for suing that individual. Unless its a spousal war over kids, that happens allright and has no relation to Finland as a country whatsoever.

  • Espoo_is_my_home

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    In support of those readers posting about how CV's are handled: My ex- Finnish husband , while employed by a very prestigious Finnish firm here, told me years ago that they regularly tossed applications with foreign last names in the trash.When I pointed out that that seemed illegal and quite unethical, he claimed it wasn't. He went on to state that the firm would rather give a job to a less experienced Finn than a better qualified foreigner. Go figure!

  • daiem

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    Actually in job market, it can really boost a career to smaller companies that wants to be international, it really open a mindset and I haven't encountered any issue.

    Though it is a big thing in the housing market, being foreigner and renting a flat do not go well together...look hard, and in any case you won't get the flat you wanted :D

  • Hoslo Jiwa

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    In 1999 we had a question put into the trade unions questionnaire to employees. It is a yearly questionnaire submitted to employees by the Trade Unions to improve relationships between employer and employee. As the only immigrant run organisation at the time (and which has still not been repeated) working on discrimination and racist incidents which was supported by the EU we asked the following question to be added "Would you employ a foreigner into your company? If not why?" 95% of the answers said No they would not employ a foreigner main reason it would upset the work balance of the company. If you want yo know about what we found out about employers discrimination cases in Finland you can contact me at hoslo@hotmail.com

  • south asian

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    It always happens. There is no need to discuss about it. It is quite common practice here

  • ulkomaaactivist

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    I have worked+studied in Finland for over 10 years and decided to leave this country. We had a famous layoff in 2011. During that layoff, many of my colleagues who are Finns were "protected" by different network (i.e. family relationship, private friends, old-school-alumi) but I was giving a very hard time after my maternity leave. As a woman who has to deal with child caring and crying hash boss, I was not able to defense. Then I realized that all organizations under stress will easily pick foreigners as target to against. Because this will give them a good excuse to unify their own people (namely, Finns!) and look for solutions. I left the country with very broken heart. But I often come back to see what is going on in this country. Finns want to portrait themselves to be some "natural love good people". but as soon as you are standing on a point to be equality competitor, then you will find out what they really are. BTW, Finns are not doing well in other country.

    • sympathy

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      Thanks for this share, I had under the same hash boss and they forced me out of the company. I wanna leave as well but my partner is Finns so that is a little string to keep me here, I feel useless everyday without doing nothing. I have Finnish degree and speak Finnish, they don't help me so well for a job!

  • another-foreigner

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    Too many comments but here is mine. I've been here close to a decade, if it is too bad to be here, I'd have moved home already. I am in the upper middle mgmt of a large company, cannot speak Finnish and not really an aim to learn besides my working hours. Companies are simply not prepared for foreigners, all policies, announcements, guidelines, etc. are in Finnish. People are. When hiring employee for a job to be done in Finland (Bsc or Msc required) Finns would have better chances with me as well. Simply, they are more accepted by the other locals and could drive better results because of that. For non-Finland related jobs based in FIN this would not matter.

    I find other issues more serious:

    Housing market: landlords only want to rent me outdated flats. Applied for dozens of nice flats but they do not rent it to me.

    Applying for credit card: the famous "5%" company would never give me a credit card and they would never give a reason. Probably my family name.

    and so on...

    • east_way

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      I asked for a credit card in value of about less than a monthly salary from the same company with green bonus cards, and was denied with no reason. As a former banking employee, I asked to see the scoring or to actually get a hint of what was the main reason that disqualified me. They said, according to their policy, they can choose their customers. I said, not if the reason for rejection is deemed illegal by the law. And we ended there, the average joe clerk refused any further communication. All this, while my bank is trying to make me ingest gold cards (just as a backup in case my silver doesn't work!!!) and outrageous credit limits, hoping I might actually spend.

    • bonus_card

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      I do not know a single non-Finn who was able to get credit card from them. All rejected with no reasoning, as you said, they claim that they do not give a reason. Same with me, woring as an engineer with solid work and credit history, they did not find me as a customer who they can trust. No reasoning. Reason was that I am not Finnish citizen and have no Finnish name.

  • FinlandKilledOurCareers

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    I have never understood why a country can afford to educate professionals and later waste that talent. I honestly don’t get it. It is surreal! I am one of those who came here a decade ago. I got both my bachelors and masters (IT) education with good grades. Then went ahead to study Finnish language and attained level b2. With both academic and language skills I made numerous applications but I never landed any interview. After getting frustrated I simply changed my last name and eliminated all the other links that would suggest that I am foreigner. Guess what? Out of the three applications that I sent, two of them got an interview invitation. Truth is, academic skills don’t matter in Finland. They would rather employ a native Finn without skills than a qualified foreigner. What is even bizarre is that the international companies that exist in Finland are also caught up in such malicious practices.

  • DateManPro

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    Feel sad for all of you chaps....grab a beer, head the bar, hit on a chic and make babies!!! And Dig it!!!!

  • Rusty

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    Right after rubbing a few up the wrong way ( which I enjoy doing) to provoke a healthy debate. I concede many of you have been discriminated against. Although I have in no way found this to be the case from my own personal experience. I salute Yle for giving us all the chance to express our views, whether they have positive or negative conotations. So what do immigrants do when faced with being unfairly treated? Do they pick up the phone and ask for an employers explanation, write to their local M.P. Go on a march/demonstration or sit back quietly moan and do nothing. Or do we accept that it's human nature to take care of ones own before outsiders. I believe bosses and business leader who are successful do not have the mindset of the latter point I suggested. Maybe we could form a group from people on this debate. An appointed articulate spokes person who could discuss these important issues with politicians and business leaders on behalf of all immigrants. What say thee?

    • Höpöhöpö

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      I like the idea and would support you, but I don't think it would change a lot. I know foreigners in my homeland face the same battle, if there is a native with OK qualifications they will in many cases also put the weird names on a different pile.

      I also think the problem is known to both politicians and business leaders. In the moment it is not an employee-friendly job market out there, nothing will change. Once they start hiring in general again they at some point wont find suitable Finns, then its our moment to shine...if we are still here :)

      I personally love Finland and have a Finnish partner who doesn't want to leave, but as it seems I am out of academic funding in a few months for good I might not have a choice. I am too restless to hang around unemployed, and so far my 20+ applications to all possible levels (even far below my education) resulted in a whole lot of Finnish silence.

      Lets just hope our relationship would hold when there are again borders between us...

    • Henry

      Report as inappropriate

      > Do they pick up the phone and ask for an employers explanation, write to their local M.P.

      Erm ... maybe you haven't noticed after all your years here ... but one of the features of the proportional representation / wide district electoral system is that we DON'T HAVE a 'local M.P.'

    • Jaccuse

      Report as inappropriate

      Good suggestion Rusty, we should set up a group and have a spokesperson. Maybe check existing groups first. ETNO, maybe?? KanSu? LIIKKUKAA is doing this kind of work already in sports.. I have been running a successful company for my first 25 years in Finland (still exists) and employed hundreds of Finnish people and a fair amount of foreigners too. Not because i wanted to help anyone, but because i wanted to benefit from the international dimension they would bring to the performance of our company and it did. It was major part of our success.

  • more cases

    Report as inappropriate

    In the academic path, people were really exploited by their professors or group leaders, long working hours pay less and funny thing is we should have native Finnish level skills while we never use it at all in technique field or in publication. Something I fed up academic career is that professors, group leaders, managers have already a candidate in mind before they announce recruitment. So it is meaningless to apply but they still open application forms on the website and people still submit applications. Things are not even better in the companies, a funny story and very true - we 3 of us were under the same Professor, we all learned the same techniques and we got jobs in the same company but one was a black post doctoral, second engaged PhD but Asian was me and the third one graduated master student but Finn. You guess what the black post doctoral got fired and next the Asian got fired but the Finn got permanent contract.

  • international student 1

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    What is the standard of erinomainen? Shouldn’t there be some sort of working language test that I can prove my ability, so that there is a universal standard for job seekers and employers to refer to? It seems to me Finnish people are playing with ambiguity here. If level C2 is the must, just tell. I will try my best to get C2 before complaining. Why is the government asking for level B1 to get Finnish nationality, but the reality is asking for C2? What jobs can I get with B1 and a university degree? Why spend so much money on international programs, but hardly anyone could stay after graduation?

  • Englishman in Finland

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    I am living in Finland for almost 3 years now. I have 17 years work experience form the UK and I'm working here in Finland in the same field as I did back home. I never experienced any problems with getting a job, but...there is a but. My salary is much lower, compare with my co workers, with similar work experience as mine. My salary is the same as a newly graduated person without any professional experience. I speak Finnish language, I passed YKI test. It is not a language barrier, it is because I am a foreigner and they use my skills paying me nuts. I am paid much less than my Finnish colleagues.

    On my job interview I thought I am getting fair salary and I never expected they will treat me that way.

  • Dos. Ph.D. moT llebpmaC

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    There has been a thesis written on the topic of this article:

    Annika Forsander (2002). Luottamuksen ehdot. Maahanmuuttajien tytyömarkkina: Luottamuksen ehdot. Maahanmuuttajien työmarkkina-asema. Doctoral thesis, University of Turku, Finland.

    The preceding articles by Dr Gareth Rice in THE, HS, Helsinki Times, and now the YLE interview, give some insight into the operation of some of the seven traditional universities in Finland, the role of which as leading institutions now hangs in the balance as funds start to be channelled elsewhere. What is really needed is are strategies to constructively influence public opinion and decision-makers as to the advantages of genuine internationalisation to education; advantages that would ultimately extend to society, research, innovation, and in turn the Finnish economy. All to often the economy sees a tragic waste of the international talent arriving, as well as that in which Finland's education system has already invested.

    • Dos. Ph.D. moT llebpmaC

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      Correcting my error in the reference above:

      Forsander, Annika. 2002. Luottamuksen ehdot. Maahanmuuttajat 1990-luvun suomalaisilla työmarkkinoilla. Helsinki: Väestöliitto, Väestöntutkimuslaitos.

  • justthesame

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    Yes, fully agree with many comments here - being fully equipped with Bsc+Msc in close fields, fluent English, basic Finnish, Finnish passport by naturalization - nothing helps to get even to interview at hiring process...

    I work in Finland for more than 8 years now, can't complain about work life at all.

    But I'd like to move on, to try more responsibility and some growth - no chance. I've send close to hundreds applications, even to companies where people know me due to connection with current job. NO reply.. no any... and it's all just because my name doesn't look like Finnish one. Finns HR somehow just rejects all non-Finns. And this is what is told very privately by close friends if you ask....

    I'd wish to do good for this country, to work hard and to make difference, but I'm not getting a chance even I actively and persistently search for one. Pity.

  • The RealDeal

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    I got my high education in Finland, one of the best education systems in the world. I will always appreciate the country and will have this with me all my life. But, what is the need for the 'best education' if I cannot get any job with it? foreigners are always advised to continue living in Finland after completing school but does nothing to help these foreigners. I have experienced so many many many unfair hiring practices and that made me make a decision 'I will never settle in this country'. Somehow people's attitude towards makes me feel like I am not needed here, and I am here because I have nowhere else to go, and that I am just making use of the so-called 'best system' in the world. If you ask me, Finland will be the loser eventually. The country is just educating foreigners for free to provide workforce for other countries. Foreigners enjoy lots of benefits from having Finnish education when they move out of the country, but not in Finland. That's a shame. For me, I am OUT!!!!

  • Trader

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    It seems many companies within Finland tend to use the Finnish Language as a barrier and excuse for keeping foreigners away from jobs yet these foreigners going for these jobs have the same if not more qualifications than some Finns. I applied for a workplace that had the Finnish language requirement yet I was lucky enough to be hired and found I don't need to use Finnish even though I try to speak what limited knowledge of it I have. In many cases Foreigners are hard workers and more grateful of their position, only to be exploited by their employer on the basis of knowing that the employee would find it very difficult to take up another job....this has been the case for many of my fellow foreigners living in Finland.

  • Kipper

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    As a non-Finnish woman working in the IT business, 40 applications equates to 1 or 2 interviews. For a Finnish man, I think that the ratio is a lot lower.

    Luckily I have a good job with an internationally-minded non-sexist Finnish company. If I didn't, I would work in another part of Europe.

  • the world is flat

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    As a foreigner, I have been living in Finland for some years,below I add some of my feelings concerning job hunting and career developments:

    1) It is difficult for foreigner to land a professional job in Finland regardless your educational background and relevant working experience, there is a strong prevalence of "Hiring Finish" among companies which could be observed in almost all job fields directly or indirectly.

    2) For those who have found a professional job, salary increase & further career development are limited. Finns are usually preferred & get all the opportunities before a foreigner.

  • Puhut mahtava suomea

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    Foreigners need to understand that they will never, ever, every be considered to be 'better than' or more capable than native ethnic finns. This society is tribalistic to the core and finns would rather work with unqualified finns then with immigrants with the right qualifications. The Finnish conceited attitude towards immigrants and the wider outside world masks a deep inferiority complex that they have. The best advice that I can give to immigrants is to leave finland while they still can, if they can. I understand that some are chained in unhappy fake marriages or have fled for their lives from ISIS, but for the mast majority of others, there are other countries, other options, take them while you still can. Leave this place. Leave the 'ruoka omasta maasta' and the 'puhut tosi hyvä suomea' and the 'why did you move to our cold, dark country? I did and i am now healed.

  • dan

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    Well, i think we should also take the case further and see the abuse faced by foreigner employees. I agree there are good employees but at the same time there are quite many who thinks that foreigners cant defend their right or maybe `stupid` to realize the fact. Honestly, that is heart breaking.

  • Star

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    Maybe not hiring but certainly inappropriate questions at interviews.....questions of doubt about competence because of language......mostly from women (in my experience) kind of like seeing the glass is half empty instead of half full....

    Finns generally don't see 'outside the box'.

  • Finn

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    I don't think most people complaining here have a realistic picture how hiring works. As a highly IT educated native Finn, I have been in the same situation and applied about one hundred jobs in a row without getting a single reply.

    Now I'm on the other side of the process & I understand why. When a position is advertised, there can be easily 500-1000 applicants. Unless an automated web based application system is used (and automated responses won't satisfy complainers), it would be enormous job to email all applicants separately.

    When you consider the numbers, you have to understand that no matter how highly you think about yourself, it's statistically more probable that you don't happen to be the lucky one. I've personally never witnessed a situation when someone's nationality would have had anything to do with it.

    Also if you look at Finns, most have CVs filled with low level summer jobs etc, even most Finns don't get good jobs right after uni. So please don't be so arrogant...

  • stuck in finland

    Report as inappropriate

    As I read most of the posts, many are complaining about difficulty to find a job in Finland. I would like to point out that discrimination can happen even if one lands a job here. Pay some attention to the project you are working on, is it as promising as those that finns get, or will it only generate much less impact while being similarly demanding? And the salary you are paid - is it on the same level of your finnish peers?

    I would say the best way to battle agaist discrimination in finnish job market is to stand for yourself and others in the same situation. Stop being weak and only complaining to your foreign friends, and stop compromising to a job that you are over qualified and don't like - this helps nothing. It's also a good idea to leave finland where refugees are more welcomed than educated people if you can't find a proper job, when you're still competent in the job market of other countries.

  • Flipper

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    When I was looking for work back in 2005, I got 3 job offers out of 4 job applications, and I do not speak Finnish. In my experience, there are many Finnish companies that do not discriminate against foreigners. In fact, I have met so many rational and open minded Finnish managers that I'm pretty sure that, in my home country, a foreigner speaking only English would have a much harder time finding a job.

    The problem right now is that jobs are scarce. I am sometimes asked to review job applications myself and you can really tell if someone has sent out tens of job applications already. There is no way you can write a good, motivated job application for that many jobs. My advice when applying for a job: write a good cover letter that explains why you want to work at the company and why you are a good candidate for the position. If you cannot write such a letter, focus your effort on a different job.

  • English D.D.

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    My son who has Finnish and British nationality emigrated to Finland in 1998, qualified in Finland as a Tourist and Hotel Manager(Restonomi Ammatti Korkea Koulu) (in English), then in Finnish as a Teachers Assistant with extra qualifications for handicapped children. He speaks good Finnish but it is not perfect. He is also fluent in German and English. He could never find full-time employment in anything he qualified in because he did not have 'native Finnish' which is repeatedly used as a basic requirement in advertisements. The closest he got to employment was as a stand-by call-off assistant teacher but then he was told that new legislation concerning assistant teachers made even this impossible. He could sometimes have work as a part-time waiter, but even here he was told he could not get anything permanent because Finnish customers want to hear pure Finnish. He has now recently left Finland to seek better chances using the German language.

  • July20

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    I fall into the category of a highly skilled working immigrant. Here is my take on this story. At work, it has been very easy to work with Finnish colleagues. Blaming game is almost non-existent here. Finnish managers give a lot of autonomy, they normally do not try to micromanage and they trust their employees. The work-life balance here is very good. On the downside, the taxes are too high. Sometimes when I have applied for jobs, I get replies like “Perfect Finnish skills are required”. This is very strange. The glass ceiling for career advancement at work is too high for immigrants like me. Shouldn’t this be purely based on merit? Going out to lunch with a dark-skinned work colleague at work seems to be a difficult concept here. Finally, the IT market in the US is booming because everyone has equal possibilities to work and contribute. Finland should become a place that can attract the best talent from all over the world.

  • petitioner

    Report as inappropriate

    I started a petition on this subject: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/971/566/807/fair-compensation-for-foreigners-in-finland-for-racism-over-employment/

  • Tomppaseni

    Report as inappropriate

    The original article dealt with the lack of transparency in higher education. Finland loves the attention it used to get when at the top of the PISA tests, but doesn't want to observe the weaknesses in Finnish Universities that rank low to very low in international rankings. Finnish profs get their positions for life; some are very competent on the international scene but most don't publish internationally (i.e., in English) and their Finnish language publications are ignored by the world. International faculty and students are not well served. The leading Universities in the world are filled with permanent international faculty positions. And, Finnish students are not subjected to the rigors of major universities in other countries; for many, research is a personal interest (good for them); but their hobby is tax supported. It's time to wake up: Finnish higher education is a basket case paid for by taxes supporting lack of transparency and low quality standards.

  • Woger

    Report as inappropriate

    Things are worse for freelancers. I'm a freelancing photojournalist and my photos have been featured on Business Insider etc. I noticed that locals are not only unwilling to pay a foreigner for photography gig, but also often "forget" to credit the photographer, which is unlikely to happen in the case of photographers of Finnish origin. It doesn't seem to make a difference after you have done them favors of free service, something I was always happy to oblige. In one case, a company commissioned me to take product photos for them explicitly promising compensation. It took me two working days, and I delivered the files before the next morning. When I asked about the compensation a while later, the employee who arranged the shoot has left the company and its CEO denied knowledge of the dealing. During last year, my only customers who actually paid were of foreign origins.

  • Suomi mainittu

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    Obviously I can't tell how many of my job applications have been rejected right away due to me not being a Finn, no sense in speculating. But it's happened several times I've been interviewed but the position was filled then by a Finn with less qualification. One extreme example comes to mind: the job I applied for listed German language proficiency (my native tongue) as a requirement, but in the end they hired someone I happened to know personally with no language skills whatsoever, who had no previous experience in the field. Some background on me: mid 20s female from Germany, came for studying, stayed for relationship. As a white woman speaking fluent Finnish you don't face discrimination in everyday life, but it doesn't change the fact that people around here are xenophobic even if they show it only indirectly through employment policies or other systemic institutions. I don't take it personally, I know Finland has been a homogenous society for very long.

  • Finnish-American

    Report as inappropriate

    Well, the situation is: "Finnish jobs for Finnish speaking people" you don't speak Finnish you need not apply even when the corporate language is English.

  • Maxjay

    Report as inappropriate

    It is not a secret that there is discrimination against foreigners in places of work. My advice to fellow foreigners is that if you are able to get a decent job elsewhere and especially your own country, man up and go after your studies. Otherwise you will moan and cry for a job in Finland till you get old and sick of cleaning. This is a very good place to study especially that it is free. Let us simply get their education and leave period, why fight with them?

  • Target

    Report as inappropriate

    Nearly 15 years in Finland and I have had great jobs and worked with an endless list of great people in Finnish companies. I have read every story here.

    - Yes, overall Finland has a problem with underlying racism. Whether with Russians, Estonians, Romanians, Africans, Asians, anyone black, Mediterranean Europeans, and then non-Finns generally.

    - And it is two faced. Very intelligent people will be balanced and mindful in the room. But in the bar they reveal the racism that is essentially part of the national identity. Clever, kind, "liberal" Finns might say racist comments that you just would never hear in the UK/US.

    - Business, employment, cultural, even sports all have different issues. Business wants and needs foreigners. As do some sports. Discrimination is rife. It should be recognised as a major national epidemic.

    - This thread has lost sight that nepotism is still the first factor in any Finnish recruitment. Nepotism rules. Discrimination is tied for 2nd with qualifications!

  • john visitor

    Report as inappropriate

    I have been living on kela benefits for 17 years now despite having graduated with distinction in my master's degree. I have been looking for a job for 17 years. What i have learnt from this ordeal is that race is a qualification when it comes to work and opportunities. If you are white you will be given a chance even if you don't speak finnish. All my classmates except non white found work even before we graduated. They now have 17 years work experience and I have never worked in Finland

    • Test case

      Report as inappropriate

      Your's is a perfect example of the helplessness of the Finnish exchequer. They will rather pay foreigners benefits for 17 years than getting them employed and earning taxes from them. The way things are going the welfare state will be a thing of past if this attitude towards foreigners continue.

  • Finnish wife

    Report as inappropriate

    My husband is a foreigner, speaks very little Finnish and has recently got unemployed. Never unemployed myself, I had to learn all details of the process together with my husband, because there are not enough materials and services available in English. Take TE-Palvelut or professional unemployment funds - information is 50/50 English and Finnish even when it is supposed to be in English.

    It has become a habit for me to call instead of my husband to certain employment services. Reason is that when he calls and tries to simply ask "Do you speak English?" the reply is something unclear in Finnish or people hang up. When I call minutes later to the same number, the conversation gets going, but in Finnish.

    Many years ago during my summer job we had English-speaking trainees to encourage us Finns practice English. This was a great idea and should be implemented more.

    Last but not least: Finnish language courses. Too much grammar, not enough speaking, expensive and with bad teachers.

    • east_way

      Report as inappropriate

      thank you for your comment. Especially the last phrase. If I say that as a student, people tend to think it is a problem with me not being able to learn.

    • me2

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      Hear hear! Unfortunately very recognizable. With the possible difference that in my case the TE-toimisto threatened to cancel my benefit if I studied Finnish during daytime

    • David D.D.

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      I sympathize totally with 'Finnish wife'. My wife has made similar experiences. As regards language course I have sadly had the same experience. The worst case for me was, after having been 'recruited' by the Finnish embassy where we lived, to move to Finland as part of a 'return to roots' program, I was not allowed to take part in a full time language course offered by our local town because I was not a refugee but had moved to Finland voluntarily. Our son who had moved earlier had to make the same experience. Additionally to this the 'työväentoimisto' claimed to have no knowledge of the program to return to Finland even though I showed them the booklet 'You want to move to Finland' which was published by the Ministry of Labour. Language

      Courses then available were once a week evening school with no attempt at speaking.

  • Mr Finn

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    I am educated in technical field, I've applied for over 400 jobs in finland. all the applications from foreigners seems to end up into two categories "no reply back" from companies or a rejection email after several months.

    Refer to first category, I called to many of these companies and talked directly with HR or managers while they were interested but 99% of them never call back. this is a clear fact for me now that Finnish company doesn't have any interest to absorb foreign employee, in addition this could be precisely expressed by the number of foreign employees even in big originally finnish companies.

    unfortunately I've had bad experience in my first interaction with a company whose manger asked me for work even after offcial hours & during weekend & he point it out as standard foreigner working style while he sometimes felt free to use any word. hopefully quitting is always free.

  • Foreigner

    Report as inappropriate

    I am dealing with unfair hiring practices, and discrimination issues that are complicating my ability to graduate from a Finnish Polytechnic.

    I am not the only foreign student that has this racist problem with jobs.

    As a foreigner living in Finland for many years, they only jobs that I would be given is delivering newspapers, or cleaning. But most cleaning jobs also demand fluent Finnish. I am always told to send in my cv, or apply on their site. The only time I am given an answer is by email. Even when I call the company to get an answer on if I was hired or not, they tell me that they aren't interested, or the give another excuse.

    The Finnish constitution states that everyone is equal and has the right to have a job, and with their own own language, Finnish, or Swedish.

    Finnish language being mandatory is an excuse that companies give so that

    they don't have to hire foreigners. It doesn't matter if you are fluent in Finnish, you still won't get a job.

  • Foreigner

    Report as inappropriate

    It doesn't matter if you are fluent in Finnish, you still won't get a job.

    Helsingin Sanomat claims that immigrant men make on average 10,000 euros less than Finnish men, and 6,000 euros less between immigrant and Finnish women.

  • footy boy

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    Hi, Yep, everybody knows that Finland is economically in trouble, unempoyment is on the rise. Trade sanctions on Russia by the EU will worsen the case, no doubt. Its obvious that a country prefers its own native people to expats: Everywhere in Europe the situation is more or less the same. I am a sivil servant should be working currently as a researcher, born abroad, but has been in troublefor a long time. These are things that are difficult for officials / state representatives to admit.

  • M

    Report as inappropriate

    I am curious, are you (YLE) going to do anything with all this first hand feedback? I suppose the comments should be a basis for a report, which can be used to do something about it.

    200 comments are maybe not good enough for politicians, however a smart analysis of these comments should reveal a trend in people's experiences and further investigation could be done so that the politicians try to do something for a change.

    Each individual's case if different, however if discrimination is the common denominator, this should ask for actions, or consequences will be paid in the long run and I have a feeling that the Finnish people are going to suffer most in what it is now known a great living standard. Of course also people who choose to live in Finland, and were not born here, but they will be less affected as they don't know how "it used to be".

    There will always people willing to move to Finland, but only people who come for a better living are not enough to sustain a better living.

  • Huh?

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    Seems, that it is not possible to add new comments to this thread anymore... Just testing.

  • granolagirl

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    I know foreigners who work in Academia in Finland. We need to understand that Finland has a high level of Education. The question here is ' who are the foreigners' who are being knocked back and why? If you compare degrees around the world, how many are comparable? Many people will not like what I am about to say but I have worked with 'foreigners' and many (not all) have a different attitude to work ethics and have different capabilities. I worked for 5 years in a school in Finland we had some 'KELA' appointed foreign workers who all had academic teaching degrees from their own countries and it was eye opening to see how they worked. Most lacked organizational skills, lacked appropriate communication skills, hygiene issues and half our time was spent correcting the tasks that was left to them....at the threat of being racist. Some didn't want to learn or be instructed and they felt it was insulting. Now put that on a University level. Is it that some people are just 'unemployable'?

    • Time

      Report as inappropriate

      Ever thought why Finnish schools are doing well in PISA (until now) and universities are nowhere to be seen in world rankings? Your comment smells arrogance and sounds condescending towards foreign degrees but now is probably the best time for you to take the upper hand and behave as such based on PISA rankings. Let us revisit your comment 5-6 years down the line and see how Finland's education and research will be doing then. BTW, I am permanently employed in academics in Finland with a foreign (Asian) so you can partially or completely blame likes of me for whatever happens to Finnish education in future :) . Let time be the best judge!

    • Factfinder

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      Five years can ofcourse be a long time, but comparing the academic environment with a non-academic environment is ofcourse ridiculous. The relation between the PISA test and the academic performance is near zero. Only departments with staff with substantial international experience perform well.

  • A TUT student

    Report as inappropriate

    My experience goes back to mainly May 2013 until 2014 although I was also applying before that date. I made a very good network based on I heard that here you need a network to find a job; but all this could not lead me to a job position related to my major. I was even more surprised when a close friend of mine who is an HR in a big company mentioned to me that the problem in hiring is from inside the company; when a manager talk to his/her people inside the department to train the new guy but they prefer to have a Finnish person rather than a foreigner (who can even handle the job with Finnish!). But of course this matters never get official and stays in conversation level between people although they really exist.

  • Factfinder

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    So even the Fins admit that the complaints by immigrants, Fin or non-Fin, regarding employment opportunities are not imaginary

    http://yle.fi/uutiset/finns_on_finns_were_hard_working_but_greedy_and_intolerant/7370176

  • Milad

    Report as inappropriate

    I have worked in my country, iran, for more than two years, then i came to finland for my masters, average gpa: 4.55 and master thesis grade: 5. I have also worked in university for one year as a researcher however, after that, I have applied for hundreds of jobs in finland for my field which honestly I am very good but I got no interview, nothing. I have applied some positions in norway, i got three interview invitation. That is the difference. I really love finnish people, they are noce but, they are really racist in job field. No doubt about it

  • Guy who is stuck in Finland

    Report as inappropriate

    What will be the net result of these comments? Will YLE make a report and show it to some authorities? I can say one thing, if the discrimination is true, then all ambitious talented foreigners with Finnish higher education will leave Finland with time and only less talented guys who are good to consume Kela benefits, like me who has no where to go, will stay here. Not allowing us to work means that Finns will work and pay taxes and we will happily consume it :). I am just happy to be in Finland as a foreigner ,Uu lala uula la :):)

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