A recent report carried out by the European Migration Network Finland (EMN) on the integration of international protection applicants in the labour market of the country has shown that there are not enough practical measures to support the employment of this group.
While there are some measures in place aimed at the employment of applicants for international protection, the author of the report, Senio Specialist Samuli Volanen, has said that non-governmental organisations need to provide additional support, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Comparing practices between EU countries, Volanen said that Finland’s reception centres already support the employment of applicants for international protection.
“At reception centres, the employment of applicants for international protection can be supported by organising employment and study activities, providing employment-related guidance and assessing the skills and competencies of applicants.” Volanen
According to the Finnish Immigration Service, under the current law, all those who have applied for international protection in Finland can start to work three or six months after lodging their application.
The same notes that, unlike the other countries in the EU, those who have applied for international protection in Finland are not required to apply for a separate permit in order to start working at the end of the waiting period.
However, despite international protection applicants enjoying such rights, Volanen stressed that the employment of this group of people is challenging.
“It is challenging for companies to hire applicants for international protection because, in practice, it is not clear how long their right to work will remain in effect.” Volanen
As explained, under Finnish law, the employer is obliged to ensure that a foreigner has the right to work before deciding to employ them.
The validity of this can be confirmed through the authorities, but it is not specified how often the employer needs to confirm the right to work for a foreigner they have employed.
In addition to the above-mentioned, the report has shown that the integration of international protection applicants does not appear to be a priority in Finland or at the EU level.
Since there are no statistics available on the employment rate of international protection applicants in Finland, it is difficult to learn more about the difficulties that this group of foreigners encounter when looking for a job.
However, it is believed that the main challenges are the language barrier as well as the difficulties related to the recognition of skills and qualifications of immigrants.