Startup community seeks to streamline skilled worker entry process

The Finnish Startup Community, in collaboration with Neogames Finland, Technical Industries of Finland, Economists of Finland (Suomen Ekonomit), and the City of Helsinki, is advocating for reforms to streamline and enhance the process of labour migration.

Their recommendations are detailed in the report ‘Smoothing labour migration: one stop shop principle and two week promise’, aiming to equip decision-makers with strategies to elevate Finland's competitive edge and draw international talent.

The report argues that expediting labour migration and employment would significantly benefit the national economy through an increase in working days and tax revenue, simultaneously boosting the ability of Finnish businesses to attract international workers.

Riikka Pakarinen, CEO at Finnish Startup Community, emphasised the collective vision: “The vision of the Finnish Startup Community and our partners is a country where labour migration is wrapped up in two weeks and all services related to the immigration process are available from a single point, with minimal strain on the authorities, companies and the migrants.”

The aspiration is to establish the world's leading immigration process, acknowledging that migration involves more than just obtaining residence permits. It also encompasses various other requirements, such as municipal registration, bank account setup, and access to family services like daycare. The publication proposes that all services a labour immigrant might need should be efficiently managed within a two-week timeframe.

Among the seven strategic measures proposed, some aim for long-term improvements. A significant hurdle identified is the repetitive nature of data provision by newcomers across different entities. A more streamlined immigration process would centralise the collection of personal data for easy access by all relevant parties, enabling, for instance, banks to remotely access a migrant's information for service provision.

The ‘Virtual Finland’ project, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, is deemed critical for the successful collection and authentication of migrant data. The Finnish Startup Community and its associates strongly advocate for continued support and the establishment of a pilot based on this project to facilitate an electronic entry process and authorise personal data sharing.

Youssef Zad, the Finnish Startup Community’s Chief Economist, highlighted the urgency: “Functional concepts have already been developed under the Virtual Finland project and it would be a shame to see the work go to waste if further funding is not granted. Now is the time to accelerate the project’s development and create practical measures from the concepts.”