2021-02-27 12:41:09 UTC
"Brain waste" squanders potential and talent in Finland
Returnees and foreigners say they struggle to find work with foreign qualifications and experience due to recruitment bias.
While the Finnish government has announced ambitious employment targets, many highly qualified foreigners and Finnish returnees lament how difficult it is to find steady employment in their own fields in Finland.
Anne*'s experiences of job-seeking in Finland are similar to many foreigners. Originally from Denmark, she moved to Finland in 2014. At the time, she was on maternity leave and finishing her Master's thesis in political science, with a specialisation in energy and environmental affairs.
When her maternity leave ended, she landed an hourly-paid position working for an NGO that paid 12 euros an hour. "With my education and niche knowledge, I should have been earning more than double the pay I was on. But I needed the experience."
Alongside her part-time role, she kept applying for relevant positions — but did not get called for interviews. To stay relevant and keep her skills updated, she took courses at the Open University, but her lack of Finnish seemed to be the issue, so she attended Finnish language courses offered by TE-services.
She was surprised how many hours were spent teaching in English. “When we were taught things about Finland in English, my time would have been better spent looking for a job.” Now in her mid-thirties, Anne feels she is at an age where she desperately needs to get back on the job market. “My value on the job market is plummeting”.