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Jyri Häkämies, the CEO of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), unveiled EK’s objectives for the next electoral term in a press conference in Helsinki on Tuesday, 20 November. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)
Jyri Häkämies, the CEO of the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), unveiled EK’s objectives for the next electoral term in a press conference in Helsinki on Tuesday, 20 November. (Credit: Antti Aimo-Koivisto – Lehtikuva)

 

The Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) believes Finland should supplement its annual net migration gain of roughly 15,000 by attracting an additional 20,000–35,000 skilled workers from abroad by 2023.

“The skills shortage is an obstacle to growth. We need talent for all positions, in all sectors and in businesses of all sizes,” says Jyri Häkämies, the chief executive of EK.

EK on Tuesday announced that its primary objective for the next electoral term is to raise the national employment rate to 75 per cent, viewing that the objective can only be reached by resolving the nationwide skills shortage and ensuring that employment is always the most profitable option for job seekers.

The necessary measures include introducing income tax cuts worth 250 million euros, eradicating inactivity traps, graduating unemployment benefits and overhauling the family leave system. The higher education system, similarly, should be developed to allow people already in working life to update their competences more flexibly, according to EK.

“We also propose that, in order to promote the integration of immigrants, a wage subsidy of up to 70 per cent be introduced for businesses that hire a successful asylum seeker,” adds Häkämies.

The Finnish government should also ramp up investments in education and research and development to re-establish the country as one of the most innovative countries in the world.

EK proposes that an additional 100 million euros be invested in primary education to ensure all young people not only are able to read, write and calculate, but also have the capacity and motivation to pursue further education and develop their competences throughout their careers.

Funding for research and innovation, in turn, should be increased by 300 million euros by the end of the next electoral term.

“Finland can restore a world-class research and innovation funding system, where businesses, researchers and funders together seek solutions for major challenges. Digitalisation and artificial intelligence can be harnessed to benefit Finland,” says Häkämies.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: Uusi Suomi

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