The report brings together information on migration strategies in the regions

In Finland, no comprehensive nationwide data has traditionally been available on provincial immigration strategies. The report, prepared by MDI, commissioned by the Ministry of Employment and Economic Affairs and funded by Sitra, provides a full picture of the current education and work-based immigration policy preparation of Finland’s regions.

MDI examined provincial immigration strategies from a wide-angle focus: 1) whether the provinces have defined immigration policy alignments and with what accuracy, 2) how immigration policy is linked to other provincial strategic development work, and (3) how educational and work-related immigration is integrated into a variety of vitality strategies or other plans. The aim of the report is to support the debate in the regions on competence levels in respect of immigration, employment, education and training and to highlight the differing levels of preparedness in respect of Finland’s regions as regards competence shortages.

There is a need for closer cooperation and more long-term work

According to the report, about half of the provinces had drafted, or are in the process of drawing up, a provincial immigration programme while, in addition, statutory integration programmes have been conducted at the municipal level, sub-regionally and provincially. In their strategies and plans, the various regions have however prepared rather differently for immigration. Although national alignments have been made, specifically to promote educational and work-related immigration, support for education and employment for individuals of all immigrant backgrounds is considered important at the provincial and municipal levels.

A total of eight development measures are set out in the report to strengthen regional strategy work. In order to develop regional immigration activities, closer cooperation with all actors, particularly educational institutions and employers, is however required. A clear challenge exists here in promoting immigration and in taking measures at a practical level. There is a need to work with a longer-term focus and to start developing funding models, rather than simply continuing with work done through project funding from different sectors. The report highlights the need for debate and systematic work in promoting work-related immigration in the future.

The report was carried out using various qualitative research methods such as content analysis, group interviews, workshop work and an electronic survey. The report directly interviewed experts from ELY centres, TE offices and municipalities about their views on regional strategy work. The qualitative data was supported by the available statistical data, in particular, regarding differences between regions in labour and education-related immigration in the recent past, the present and the future.

Read more (in Finnish) 

Report on regional migration strategies

Press release of the Ministry of Employment and Economic Affairs