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Finland’s Government Hopefuls Divided Over Labour Shortage Response


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The two biggest parties likely to form a right-wing government remain divided on immigration despite this being a possible answer to the current labour shortage that is negatively affecting the health sector and growth.

After two weeks of negotiations, Finland appears most likely to get a right-wing government built around the two biggest parties: the liberal-conservative National Coalition Party (NCP) and the populist and nationalistic Finns Party.

While NCP wants to loosen the country’s immigration policy and ditch regulations such as labour market tests according to which employment opportunities must be offered first to those already available on the domestic market, the Finns Party favours immigration from EU countries but wants to set limits on labour migration from non-EU countries.

According to the Finns Party, only educated and skilled workers from non-EU countries could work in high ”added value” jobs.

There should be ”targeted recruitment campaigns” in the southern European countries with high youth unemployment, the Finns Party told NCP Chair Petteri Orpo, who is currently leading the government talks. Those willing to work in the health and social sector would be particularly welcome, it added.

However, the party’s proposal received a unanimously negative response from the authorities and labour market organisations on Sunday.

“There is nowhere in Europe a labour reserve big enough able to fill the needs of Finland,”  the Migration Director Sonja Hämäläinen from the Economic and Employment Ministry told the Finnish News Agency.

Based on experiences from some earlier campaigns, Adviser at the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK) Mikko Räisänen said: ” The results have not been particularly lasting”.

“Finland is certainly not the only country trying to recruit,” Sari Koivuniemi, the Director at the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals, said, noting the tough competition abroad.

Source: Euractiv

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