Highlighting the skills of asylum seekers and increasing activity at reception centres

5.2.2020 10.07
Press release

The reception centre conducts a skills assessment with new asylum seekers, in which information about the asylum seeker’s previous work experience, education and interests is collected. In addition, the skills assessment documents the skills acquired after arriving at Finland, such as progress in Finnish or Swedish language studies.

‘The information will be of use in the Employment and Economic Development Office as well as in municipal integration services after an asylum seeker, having received a favourable permit decision, moves away from the reception centre to live in the municipality. The clients can also use the information when looking for a job,’ says project worker Hanna Anderssén.

An electronic skills assessment form has been made available to the reception centres. The skills assessment was designed in the OSAKA project in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. The goal of the project is to support the asylum seekers’ activity and ability to function during the reception phase.  It has also included co-operation with organisations, educational institutions and municipalities.

The project was funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Developing the work and study activities

Activities for the asylum seekers have been developed during 2019. In addition, reception centres have investigated potential new practices that could be used in the work and study activities arranged by the reception centres.

The asylum seekers usually study Finnish or Swedish in the reception centre. In addition, asylum seekers receive information on Finnish society and how it works. Work activities often comprise cleaning and repair work in the area of the reception centres.

According to a recent client survey by the Finnish Immigration Service, asylum seekers feel that language teaching and guidance towards activities is important. The Finnish Immigration Service has investigated, for instance, the possibility of arranging more activities such as crafts, exercise and workshop activities.

Reception centres are not closed units, and most asylum seekers arrange their own accommodation outside the reception centre. It is also important for clients to participate in competence-building activities outside the reception centre.

Currently there are 40 reception centres participating in the activities, 5 of which are units for minors.  The reception system has approximately 8,300 clients.

Further information for the media

  • Tiina Järvinen, Senior Adviser, Reception Unit, email: [email protected], tel. +358 295 433 738