Even though Finland has been generous about investing on language- and culture-training course for immigrants, one should rightfully ask if the money is being spent effectively. Why is there still high unemployment among immigrants in Finland if we are spending hefty sums of tax-payers money on these types of courses?
While high unemployment (well over 20%) among the immigrant community in Finland is due on a myriad of factors, would the money be better spent if the government launched a campaign to lower those walls of suspicion that exist between the Finns and immigrants?
Shouldn’t the government be investing its precious time and money on how to make Finland a truly equal opportunity country that views immigrants and diversity as a positive matter?
In my opinion, the problem of high immigrant unemployment is attributable to the chicken-and-egg syndrome. On the one hand you are required to learn sufficient language and culture skills that will never be obtained in a classroom environment. The only way to learn such skills is through employment.
Even though Finnish legislation offers protection and encourages cultural diversity, we are in danger of falling into the trap of status-quo inactivity. The issue and the social problems that arise from high unemployment will not be solved by sweeping them under the rug with the help of social welfare programs.
Moreover, too many in Finland, I fear, would not care less. They argue that since unemployment is about 7% nationally, immigrants should passively accept double-digit jobless rates.
High immigrant unemployment is not the failure of any particular group but falls on our society as a whole. We will continue to fail dismally in the task of integrating newcomers as long as we do not find ways to bring immigrant unemployment near national levels.
This, I believe, is where the government’s money and time should be invested.