There would be job desires but it's hard to get into the job

Isaac Amichia came to Finland as a refugee from Ivory Coast as a result of the country's civil war 12 years ago. After serving as assistant to the President of Ivory Coast, Isaac was subjected to persecution by opponents of the president and was life-threatening assaulted. After the attack, Isaac spent three weeks hiding in the forests. Clothes soaked in blood and wounds inflamed, he was eventually forced to seek help. He dared into a house where he was kindly received. Having sufficiently recovered, Isaac managed to escape the country. He travelled to Finland with the goal of entering the EU as an asylum seeker.

After staying in Finland for a few years, Isaac got an internship in a kindergarten in Kuopio. The internship ended, but Isaac's appetite for work didn't stop. He was particularly interested in nursing. For the warm-hearted Isaac, the human-close work seemed to fit well. With the help of his friends, Isaac was able to go to an internship at a nursing home. Isaac was comfortable with the elderly, and most of the elderly with him. For some, though, skin color was an obstacle. Isaac noticed that often an elderly man didn't have time to eat more than a spoonful of his food portion before the nurse took the tray away. Isaac decided to start feeding the elderly. However, it was pointed out to him that, when untrained, he was not allowed to do so. The employer's message was that disregard for instructions would lead to termination of the internship.

Isaac applied for practical nursing education. However, he did not pass the language test, even though he was already doing just fine in his Finnish language in practical life. An irrepressible young man applied to a language course, followed by trying to go to school again - with the same outcome. The work in care for the elderly remained a dream and Finland lost a badly needed, motivated care worker.

Lack of integration causes exclusion

Isaac's experiences draw a sad picture of the inoperability of the Finnish integration system. This should not happen, because we must also be able to realise the potential of migrants in sectors affected by labour shortages. Many educated immigrants in Finland have to wait for years to get to work. Lack of integration leads to the exclusion of immigrants from society, exposing them to crime, among other things. In Estonia, for example, the bureaucracy required to get to work is taken care of from one stop. In Finland, the immigrant has to contact Migri, TE services and the tax authorities, among others. There is an incentive trap in reception centres when receiving work means losing a housing benefit and welfare benefits. The stories of doctors or nurses coming to Finland who are put into practical nurse training to get to work also seem unsustainable.

From the point of view of integration, language learning is the starting point of everything. Studying the language is often difficult for traumatized people. It would be important for those who came to the country to be given the opportunity to learn the language in addition to courses as part of their work. There are also bureaucratic obstacles to improving the language skills of the highly skilled immigrant population in particular. Today, immigrants who have been in Finland for more than three years cannot study the language with unemployment benefits. We need to get a change for this.

More and more immigrants come to Finland with family. It is necessary to take the whole family at the centre of integration and consider what kind of support measures each family member needs. Care must also be taken to ensure that the parent who cares for children at home becomes part of Finnish society. We cannot afford the exclusion of any immigrant, nor for talent in our country to be remained offside.
Vesa Linnanmäki
Vesa Linnanmäki, Candidate of the Centre Party number 111
Age: 50 years
Family: Wife and 7 children
Residence: Kuopio, Hiltulanlahti
Occupation: Managing Director at Tarjoomo Cooperative
Education: Master of Education and Class Teacher, Master of Music
Actions of trust: Kuopio city councillor and member of the city board. Member/Councillor of the Local Council of Northern Savonia
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