Finland is facing an escalating shortage of skilled workers, according to a recent study by ManpowerGroup. The study found that 81% of Finnish employers are struggling to find the necessary skills to fill their job vacancies. This is up from 70% the previous year.

The shortage is most severe in Eastern Finland, where 85% of employers report difficulty finding the right talent.

This is followed by Southern Finland at 83%, Western Finland at 79%, and Northern Finland at 75%. The industries hardest hit by the talent shortage include transportation and logistics (92%), communication services (91%), industry (84%), and healthcare and biosciences (80%).

The top five areas where talent is most lacking include IT and data, engineering, customer service, marketing and sales, and sustainable development and the environment. Additionally, the top five soft skills that are most in demand but difficult to find include resilience and stress management (27%), creativity (25%), initiative (24%), leadership and influencing skills (23%), and responsibility and reliability (23%).

The underlying cause of the talent shortage is the changing nature of work, which is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon. The changing nature of work is reshaping job structures, skill requirements, and work environments, and impacting workforce availability, the level and targeting of required skills, and emphasizing the need for continuous learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated these changes.

"The talent shortage is the biggest threat to the success of Finnish companies. The problem has been recognized for a long time, but the measures taken have been insufficient. Stronger actions are needed, with targeted, demand-driven training and retraining solutions, the removal of incentives that discourage work, and the promotion of work-related immigration. Additionally, the development of well-being and resilience is essential for increasing job satisfaction and reducing work-related burnout and mental health challenges," said Matti Kariola, the CEO of ManpowerGroup Finland and the Baltic states.

ManpowerGroup's annual Talent Shortage study surveyed 39,000 employers globally, including 510 from Finland. Employers were asked to assess the challenges of filling open positions, the most difficult position groups to fill, and the skills gaps of job applicants. The study provides insights into how employers are responding to talent shortages in various industries.