kolme-opiskelijaaAccording to the Finnish Statistics the unemployment rate of foreigners and citizens of foreign background is at least double compared with the respective rate of original Finns. Also unemployment among young generations is higher than in older age groups.

According to the research of CIMO, many of the foreign degree students would like to stay and find employment in Finland after graduation. The problem, however, is that companies interested in recruiting foreign students and foreign graduates don’t meet each other in the same way as recruiters meet Finnish students.

At the same time, Finland is undergoing a structural change in the working life. It is therefore of utmost importance to increase the competitiveness and growth, to which Finland needs all the available know-how and competencies that we have already at our disposal in our country.

To tackle this problem, six Universities of Applied Sciences from different parts of Finland have together launched a challenging national-wide project called “KILKAS”  – Kilpailukykyä ja kasvua ulkomaalaisten ammattikorkeakouluopiskelijoiden työllisyyden edistämisestä. Project team members come from Turku, Tampere, Seinäjoki, Oulu, Mikkeli and Kouvola. All the members are experienced international programme professionals.

This project aims to promote employment of foreign UAS students by developing career support and career guidance. This includes many different areas such as developing the structures of internships and thesis processes, making student councelling more effective, raising students’ interest in cultural and language studies and building their networking abilities. For example, all the possible forms of internships are carefully scanned in order to find the best practices.


To sum up, the objectives of Kilkas are

• Develop a working model to the Universities of Applied Sciences to promote the employment of foreign student.
• Incorporate and entrench the approach into internship guidance as well as part of the student and alumni services.
• Develop such forms and practices of internship which take into consideration the special challenges of employment of the foreign students as well as their unutilized potential in the Finnish labor markets.
• Communicate and share information about the working model to businesses, associations of entrepreneurs and the great public using social media, organizing different kinds of events and info sessions.
With these measures the Kilkas – project seeks to increase foreign students’ working life competences from the point of view of the Finnish labor market and at the same time, raise the prospects of competitiveness and growth of Finnish companies.

If you want to share your experience of job search in Finland or just like to give a comment, do not hesitate to contact Pia Kaari pia.kaari@kyamk.fi . She will be more than happy to hear your ideas!