Why the world’s happiest country ‘Finland’ seeks for migrants from around the globe?

Winning the title of the World’s happiest nation repeatedly with world-beating living standards, Finland should be flooded by people wanting to relocate, but in fact, it faces an intense shortage of workforce, as per reports by Agency Presse France.

Talking to AFP, recruiter Saku Tihverainen from agency Talented Solutions said, “it’s now widely acknowledged that we need a spectacular number of people to come to the country,” They require workers to help cover the cost of the greying generation, the recruiter told.

While several Western countries are battling weak population growth, few feel the effects as sharply as Finland. According to the UN, with 39.2 for 65s per 100 working-age people, the country is second next to Japan in the extent of its aging population, which predicts that by 2030 the “old-age dependency ratio” will increase to 47.5, the report added.

The government has informed that the nation with 5.5 million needs to sensibly double immigration levels to 20,000-30,000 every year inorder to maintain public services and plug a looming pensions deficit.

Finland seems like an attractive destination, scoring high for the quality of life, freedom and gender equality, with little corruption, crime and pollution. But anti-immigrant sentiment and hesitation in employing immigrants are also widespread.

The government’s “Talent Boost” programme; aims to make the country more attractive internationally through local recruitment schemes. Metalworkers from Slovakia, health workers from Spain, and IT and maritime experts from Russia, India and Southeast Asia are targeted. But such previous efforts have petered out.

Five of the eight Spanish nurses recruited in the western town of Vaasa left in 2013, citing Finland’s exorbitant prices, cold weather and complex language.

Finland has seen net immigration for much in the last decade, with almost 15,000 more people arriving than leaving in 2019. Official statistics show many of those quitting the country are higher-educated people, the report added.

Facing the OECD’s most significant skilled worker shortage, some Finnish startups are creating a joint careers site to secure overseas talent.

The capital’s mayor, Jan Vapaavuori, talking to AFP, said startups have told that they can get anyone from world-wide to work for them in Helsinki, as long as he/she is single. But “their spouses still have huge problems getting a decent job,” he added.

Several foreigners complain of the widespread objection to recognise overseas experience or qualifications and prejudice against non-Finnish applicants.

Recruiter Saku Tihverainen said the workforce shortage is pushing more companies to loosen their demand of only employing native Finnish workers.

For the mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vaaavuori, Finland being voted the World’s happiest country in a UN ranking for four years has “not yet helped as much as we could have hoped,” the report added.

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