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12 June 2024

Finland: Survey on integration service needs of immigrant men

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The Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) in Finland conducted a survey to investigate the thoughts and experiences of immigrant men who have come to the country as adults. 

The need for this survey arose from the observation that many integration services have been developed in Finland in recent years for immigrant women, who commonly stay at home to carry out housework and take care of their children, but that need for support among immigrant men may not yet have been as thoroughly explored. 

The survey was produced as part of a project jointly funded by the Finnish Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. It is a part of a larger strategic project which is partly funded by the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+).

The survey was aimed at immigrant men who speak Arabic, Dari, Somali or Sorani as their mother tongue. A multilingual electronic questionnaire was disseminated, and 259 men living across Finland responded. The survey results were combined into a report, published in March 2024, examining respondents’ labour market situation, their beliefs about their language and job-seeking skills, their social networks and their experiences of discrimination. 

55% respondents reported that they are currently seeking employment, but only 47% of them said they believe they have the necessary skills (such as those required for writing a job application or putting together a CV) to do so. According to the report, half of all respondents said they feel they have too few friends, whether native speakers of Finnish / Swedish or native speakers of other languages. 67% of respondents said they had experienced discrimination within the past year, most commonly in public spaces. 78% of those surveyed said they feel at home in Finland, although those who have not faced discrimination were found to feel at home more often than those who had experienced discrimination.

The coordinators of the project hope the results of the survey will be used to target immigrant men with specialised support, for instance in employment, municipal and wellbeing services. The survey report suggests that when developing integration services there should be greater focus on psychosocial support for men with an immigrant background, who may feel lonely due to limited social networks and experiences of discrimination. Even if an individual’s early integration is going well (and they have received, for instance, a personalised integration plan from local authorities), they may face some difficulties when it comes to arranging language learning and employment for themselves.

Selvitys arabian-, darin-, somalin- ja soraninkielisten miesten näkemyksistä elämästä Suomessa
(8.75 MB - PDF)


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Posted by
Marja Tiilikainen
Country Coordinator

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