Kuvassa on TEKin toiminnanjohtaja Jari Jokinen.
Jari Jokinen, CEO of Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland TEK, says that skills and talent are the basis for growth.

The government discussion on spending limits (kehysriihi) cannot build growth without immigration

News article

Future growth needs skills and talent. The savings from the government discussion on spending limits must be found from outside these areas.

Skills and talent are the basis for Finland’s success. Already since 2000, the increase in the number of people employed in Finland has come exclusively from people with an immigrant background. One in ten graduate engineers is already international, and a fifth of the growth in the ICT sector, for example, has been driven by immigrants since 2010. 

A low availability of skilled labour slows down business growth, meaning that more international talent is needed in the labour market. To promote this, Finland must become a more attractive place to live and work. 

"As an example, Finland needs a new immigration pathway that would provide a significant advantage for immigrants seeking permanent residence.  Like in Canada, it could offer the opportunity to obtain an immediate permanent residence permit, which would allow them to plan for their futures in the long term," says Jari Jokinen, CEO of Academic Engineers and Architects in Finland, TEK. 

We cannot afford to make any cuts in skills.

Selections for the proposed pathway would be made on a points-based basis, with points potentially awarded for skills in areas with labour shortages, past education, and language ability. This results in recruitment based on career and integration potential. 

It would also be important to improve Finland's retention rate so that professionals already here would have the desire and the ability to stay. For example, only 43% of international students educated in Finland considered it likely they would stay in Finland after graduation. 

Scissors need to be kept away from Finnish expertise

The huge savings sought in the spending limit negotiations must be found in areas that do not cut from future growth. We must also think carefully about where to raise taxes so that they do not further hinder the slow recovery from the economic downturn. 

"The worst poison for growth would be cuts in knowledge and science," Jokinen stresses. 

For Finland's future success, it is important that the government sticks to the 4  % of GDP target for research, development and innovation (RDI) investment previously agreed by parliament. 

"Highly skilled people are needed to carry out RDI activities. To achieve the 4 % target, we cannot afford to make any cuts in skills. Instead, in addition to immigration, we need to increase rates of higher education and ensure there are opportunities for continuous learning," says Jokinen. 

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