Press release: New cooperation accelerates international recruitment by SMEs

Press Release

The cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Kuopio and Lahti, Business Finland’s Work in Finland, KIRA: the real estate and construction sector consortium and E2 Research have joined forces to accelerate international recruitment by SMEs. The project will share companies' good practices on a national scale and develop the international recruitment services that cities offer to businesses.

The SMEs and Foreign Workforce project (PIKEUS) serves the needs of both the private and public sectors. Businesses receive practical solutions for internationalisation from their own region and insights from across Finland. Cities and the national Talent Boost network will benefit from research-based advice on service development and resource allocation. While supporting the businesses’ international recruitment, the project’s goal is also to help immigrants already living in Finland find employment.

The real estate and construction sectors already employ a large number of people with foreign backgrounds. Despite economic fluctuation, the long-term prospect is a considerable labour demand for tens of thousands of employees. There is also a growing need for white-collar employees and specialists in the real estate and constructions sectors. It’s important to find solutions to promote the career advancement of foreign workers and ensure that foreign higher education graduates remain in Finland to work, says Aleksi Randell, Director General of the The Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT (CFCI).

Finland already has a lot of knowledge about the factors that hinder international recruitment. Businesses and cities across the country have developed solutions to these problems. The important thing is to identify the solutions that others could also benefit from. By joining forces and sharing our expertise, we can achieve more and work more efficiently, says Soile Lahti, Mayor of Kuopio.

As the population ages, companies will need more workforce from abroad. We should also create better pathways to employment for immigrants and foreign graduates already living in Finland. It’s important for Helsinki to be involved in supporting SMEs’ access to workforce and develop the services offered to businesses, says Glenn Gassen, Head of Immigration Services of the City of Helsinki.

The success of SMEs creates wellbeing for the whole of Finland. Many SMEs act as subcontractors for export companies, contributing to regional vitality and Finland’s competitiveness. The labour shortage that SMEs face is not only a brake on growth, but it can also threaten a company’s existence or operations in Finland. This is a common cause, which is why we are inviting companies and business owner organisations from across the country to cooperate, says project lead Mari K. Niemi from E2 Tutkimus.

The PIKEUS project is conducted by the independent and multidisciplinary research institute E2 Tutkimus. The project will be carried out during 2024.


Visit the project website: The SMEs and Foreign Workforce project (PIKEUS)

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More information:

Docent Mari K. Niemi, Director, E2 Research,
+44 7737161944