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FSD2541 Immigrants in Southeast Finland 2003

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Authors

  • Rouhiainen, Vesa (University of Helsinki. Ruralia Institute, Mikkeli)

Keywords

employment, employment history, immigrants, language skills, social integration

Abstract

The survey studied integration, education, employment, and language skills of immigrants living in less densely populated areas in Finland. The survey was part of the project 'Kaakkois-Suomen Majakka' funded by the European Social Fund and carried out by the University of Helsinki, Kotka Employment Office and Workers' Educational Association WEA. The project aimed to develop integration and training models suitable for small, dispersed immigrant populations.

The respondents were asked about the permanence of their stay in Finland, intention to apply for Finnish citizenship, and reasons for moving to Finland. Education/training and work experience before and after immigration to Finland were charted. Foreign language skills were studied with questions relating to the ability to speak Finnish or Swedish and other languages. Further questions investigated economic activity and occupational status of the respondents, factors making it difficult or easier for them to find a job, use of language skills in their work, and whether their work was commensurate with their qualifications. The respondents also evaluated the usefulness of employment office services and whether they liked their current working environment.

Integration into Finnish society was studied next. Questions covered the most important actors helping the respondents to integrate, experiences of racism or discrimination, and whether the respondents had reported the racism to authorities. Opinions on whether their municipality of residence offered enough free-time opportunities were charted. The respondents were also asked whether they participated in any voluntary/civic organisations.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, year of birth, country of origin, nationality, degree of urbanity of the municipality of residence, year of immigration to Finland, marital status, number of children aged under 18, and native language.

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