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Turku tech contest attracts 1k jobseekers from 76 countries

Organisers say they want to encourage foreign tech workers to bring their families and settle in the area.

Tuomiokirkko ja tuomiokirkkosilta
File photo of Turku Cathedral by the Aura River. Image: Paula Koskinen / Yle

A new tech sector jobs programme named Talent Call Turku has received more than 1,000 applications from IT jobseekers around the world and the winners will be announced next month.

The "talent call" is a competition – organised by Turku Science Park, the City of Turku and Business Finland – and an opportunity for the families of technology professionals to visit and potentially settle in south-west Finland's Turku region.

Five winners will receive week-long, all-inclusive trips to the area so they can familiarise themselves with what Turku has to offer.

"There are 76 different nationalities among the applicants," said Pipa Turvanen, communications manager for Science Park subsidiary, Turku Business Region. "We expected around 500 applications, so we were positively surprised."

Applications arrived from all corners of the globe, including the US, Singapore, Latvia and India.

"About 60 percent of the applicants were specialists in the tech trade, such as engineers and software designers," Turvainen said.

Families coaxed

Industrial talent competitions like Talent Call Turku have been organised before in countries such as New Zealand, the Netherlands and Estonia. Business Finland said that nothing of the kind has been attempted in Finland before.

Turvanen said the talent call contest is unique in that it focuses on applicants' families.

"Previous events have been quite confined, seeking only coders or individual experts. One of Finland's strengths is how family-friendly it is," she said.

The applications will soon be handled, and five winners are expected to be announced in June. The winning applicants and their families will be given the chance to acquaint themselves with Turku in August.

"We'll try to find as many jobs for as many qualified workers as we can. We've discussed the shortage of good workers with various companies," Turvanen said.

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