Barriers and Pathways to Successful Labour Market Integration of Refugees in Finland

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Title: Barriers and Pathways to Successful Labour Market Integration of Refugees in Finland
Author: Kulsoom, Ally
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science
Date: 2005-04-26
Thesis level: master's thesis
Abstract: This study examines the barriers and pathways to the labour market integration of refugees in Finland. Empirical data was collected in conjunction with the RESOURCE research project completed in 2003-2004 by a consortium of agencies in 14 EU member states. In Finland, 22 in-depth interviews were carried out with refugees successfully employed in one of the three target sectors, which included IT, engineering, and social and healthcare. Analysis of interview data indicates that the principle barriers to labour market entry of refugees are: lack of adequate Finnish language skills, prejudice and discrimination on the part of employers, non-recognition of previously acquired qualifications and work experience, and lack of work experience in Finland. Conversely, the main pathways to labour market success are: personal skills and competence in the form of attitudes, perseverance and diligence, strong Finnish language skills, and Finnish educational qualifications and practical training or work experience. Using key theoretical constructs of integration, human and social capital and substantive citizenship, I argue that successful employment provides refugees with a functional base for exercising social and substantive citizenship rights, thereby facilitating overall integration in the new country of residence. In particular, human and social capital elements are found to be the main facilitators of labour market integration amongst refugees, not only providing access to the immediate benefit of employment and economic security, but also leading to long-term positive developments such as increased overall integration and personal satisfaction, as well as an increased sense of belonging resulting from heightened participatory citizenship. Thus, human and social capital factors such as those identified in this study can be considered major determinants of the labour market performance of refugees in Finland.
Description: Endast sammandrag. Inbundna avhandlingar kan sökas i Helka-databasen ( Elektroniska kopior av avhandlingar finns antingen öppet på nätet eller endast tillgängliga i bibliotekets avhandlingsterminaler.Only abstract. Paper copies of master’s theses are listed in the Helka database ( Electronic copies of master’s theses are either available as open access or only on thesis terminals in the Helsinki University Library.Vain tiivistelmä. Sidottujen gradujen saatavuuden voit tarkistaa Helka-tietokannasta ( Digitaaliset gradut voivat olla luettavissa avoimesti verkossa tai rajoitetusti kirjaston opinnäytekioskeilla.
Subject: refugees
human capital
substantive citizenship

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