An eight-page application for employment-based residence, supplemented by a total of 11 copies, certificates and other documents.
That is a list of the documents an employment agency has to produce in order to recruit a chef from the Philippines to Finland, tells Minna Vanhala-Harmanen, the chief executive of Barona, one of the leading private employment agencies in Finland.
The entire permit procedure takes roughly a year, according to her.
“You can’t file the work permit application until February. A TE Office will then spend six to seven months considering the permit application, after which you'll have to wait two months for a decision from [the Finnish Immigration Service] Migri,” she explained at an event organised in Helsinki on 29 October by the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK).
Vanhala-Harmanen said the permit applications cannot be filed immediately due to the lack of biometric identification equipment at the Consular Office of Finland in Manila, the Philippines. Barona, as a result, has to fly the applicants to the Embassy of Finland in Kuala Lumpur, which has a three-month backlog of applications.
“The situation would be the same if we were recruiting ICT professionals,” she added.
“4,000 IT experts alone were hired last year in Sweden. Meanwhile, the total number of work permits granted in Finland was roughly 6,000. We’re talking about [hiring on] a completely different scale.”
Vanhala-Harmanen made her comments in response to a report presented to EK by Mikael Jungner, a former party secretary of the Social Democrats and co-founder of Now Movement.
Jungner in his report laid out a total of 31 proposals to enhance the country’s appeal in the eyes of international talent, including promoting equality, developing marketing communications and abolishing the so-called labour availability consideration.
The labour availability consideration is a process that effectively enables authorities to cite the availability of domestic labour as grounds for preventing employers from recruiting from outside the European Union or European Economic Area (EEA).
As chefs do not fall under the scope of the labour availability consideration, the Filipino chefs’ case demonstrates that abolishing the process is not a particularly effective means to make hiring from abroad easier, according to Vanhala-Harmanen.
“No matter how attractive Finland is, I think quite a few will come up with something else to do in a year,” she said, adding that the country must first ensure the fundamentals are in place.
Jorma Vuorio, the head of migration at the Ministry of the Interior, commented on the ensuing debate on Twitter, reminding that authorities currently have to ask over a half of residence permit applicants to supplement their applications.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi