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Language Requirement Hampers Immigrants' Recruitment

The Finnish National Board of Education has withdrawn a demand requiring from immigrants proficiency in the Swedish language. Until now, immigrants have been required to have knowledge of Finnish, Swedish and a third language to pass examinations in public sector customer service proficiency. Examining boards have also failed candidates without skills in Swedish. Although the integration and education of immigrants has been widely discussed, many unreasonable obstacles still stand in their path on the way to the job market. In some cases, a university degree is a passport only to menial work. In the public service, many immigrants also fall foul of a compulsory demand to have proficiency in Finland's second official language, namely, Swedish.

Several institutions of higher education have been following to the letter instructions issued by the National Board of Education demanding adherence to a long standing requirement for immigrants to have proficiency in Finnish, Swedish and a third language.

However, the Board has now rescinded the requirement for compulsory Swedish and promises to correct injustices caused by the earlier ruling.

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