Finland was chosen as the happiest place to live according to UN’s World Happiness Report 2021. Fort the fourth time in a row, Finland received top marks. All Nordic countries were among the top eight countries. The Nordic way of life and a high level of welfare have become even more important during the COVID-19 crisis. For many people right now, Finland could be desirable place to live.
Finland must be attractive for the foreign workers. Finland suffers from a low work force and is facing demographic challenges of an ageing population. The Finnish Ministry of Labour has estimated that 65 000 vacancies could have been filled in 2019, had it not been for the lack of work force in our country. Foreign labour is particularly needed within the IT sector, health care, construction and metal industry.
Finland punches above its weight in the gaming industry. It is in our interest to attract the leading experts of this field to come to Finland. We are particularly interested in attracting people from the Silicon Valley and India. Globally, Supercell is the most well-known Finnish actor in the gaming industry, however there are many others, that also offer jobs for foreign talents. Equally, Finland should not only be attractive for foreign workers, but it should also provide an attractive environment for start-ups. This is why Finland has decided to introduce a fast-track license for those running start ups. The idea is that if a person comes with their family to Finland, they may receive a license to stay and do business much faster than through the regular procedures.
It is of vital importance that the newcomers feel welcome when arriving in Finland, their new home. Therefore, there is a need to organise language courses and provide information regarding Finnish laws and society, including Finnish labour laws, in order to facilitate integration. It is fair that foreign workers are treated in the same way as locals on the Finnish labour markets.
The role of the third sector and families is also important in helping newcomers start their life in Finland. Education is an important dimension of integration and many families see it is a priority to get their children to a good school as soon as possible. Finland is well-known for its high quality education and has the capacity to provide every child in Finland with a good education. This is one of the contributing factors to our high levels of happiness.
Finland needs foreign talents and Finland is the happiest place in the world. Surely, this is what one could call a good deal? Finland welcomes newcomers to the country with the happiest people.
Arto Olavi Satonen is a Finnish politician and a member of the Finnish Parliament, representing the National Coalition Party. He was first elected to the Parliament in the 2003 parliamentary election.
This article was written for MP Talk, a regular column from the Helsinki Times in which Members of The Finnish Parliament contribute their thoughts and opinions. All opinions voiced are entirely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints of the Helsinki Times.
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