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Finland: Action Plan on Integration taking into account increasing immigration flows

The Finnish Action plan on Integration has been adopted by the ministerial working group on migration on 27 November 2015. The plan takes into account the current situation and anticipates an increase of 10,000 people who will need integration services next year. It emphasises the importance of identification of immigrants' skills, their smooth settlement in municipalities and employment.

The Plan includes over thirty actions, which also take into account the need to provide immigrants with basic municipal services. Immigrants are required to actively participate in integration measures. Professional skills of asylum seekers will already be assessed when they are waiting for asylum decisions at reception centres. A broader assessment will be made once the refugee status or a residence permit granted.

Assessment of immigrants' skills will help to direct them to municipalities which provide education or business opportunities that correspond to their skills. Quick settlement in municipalities is meant to contribute to their integration. After settlement, individual integration plans will be set up by municipalities or employment and economic development offices. The overall content, duration and organisation of integration trainings will be evaluated by both, the Ministry of Employment and Economy, and the Ministry of Education and Culture.

To speed up employment of immigrants, education and training will be tailored to be complementary to their existing professional skills. Housing, early childhood education, schooling and social and health care services playing a key role in integration, the Action Plan stresses the importance of supporting experts in municipalities and at employment and economic development offices so that they can deal with the new situation.

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