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Ministerial working group approves revised Talent Boost programme on work-based and education-based immigration for 2023–2027

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Education and Culture
Publication date 21.11.2023 16.17
Press release

The Talent Boost programme on work-based and education-based immigration will continue in a revised form during this Government term. The aim is to provide Finland with skills that meet its needs and to strengthen economic growth, employment and innovation activities. The ministerial working group on employment and entrepreneurship approved the programme on 21 November 2023.

Finland’s success and international competitiveness are based on high levels of skills and competence. However, the Finnish labour market suffers from a shortage of skilled workers. In accordance with the Government Programme of Prime Minister Orpo, employment must be provided to unemployed jobseekers already in Finland. However, the country also needs work-based immigration. The plan is to supplement the labour force primarily from EU/EEA countries, while also promoting international recruitment from third countries.  

Effective measures are needed because Finland competes for international experts with other countries. The Talent Boost 2023–2027 programme contains all the measures and objectives of work-based and education-based immigration. The programme is in line with the priorities of the Government Programme and enhances the measures already introduced. 

Talent Boost is based on a close network. The programme is implemented nationally and regionally by a number of different operators that develop services for skilled workforce and employers. Achieving the common objectives requires seamless and long-term cooperation and compatible services of the central government, cities, higher education institutions, other educational institutions, companies and others. 

Increasing the availability of international talent and ensuring easy and reliable permit processes 

In accordance with the Government Programme, the Talent Boost programme promotes the international recruitment of labour from four target countries: India, Brazil, Vietnam and the Philippines. The focus will be on those with higher education, employees in the healthcare and social welfare sector and export industries as well as seasonal workers. At the same time, efforts will be made to increase the number of international higher education students in a controlled manner and to improve the preconditions for finding employment in Finland.

The processing times for residence permits will be shortened further by increasing automation so that arriving in Finland will be easier. However, any abuse of the system will be tackled effectively. In accordance with the Government Programme, the aim is for experts to receive a permit in one week’s time while other work-based residence permits are issued within 30 days. At the same time, effective and smooth follow-up monitoring will ensure that the stay continues to be in compliance with the permit requirements.

More effort needed to retain international experts

While it is important to attract foreign talent to Finland, it is also essential that they stay here. In accordance with the Government Programme, the factors affecting Finland’s ability to retain foreign workforce will be examined and promoted. These include well-functioning basic banking services, English-language early childhood education and care and schooling. Support for learning Finnish and Swedish will be provided both during studies and in working life.

Promoting work-based immigration in a sustainable manner requires that exploitation of foreign labour is prevented and actively combated. By the end of 2023, an action plan for preventing and combating work-related exploitation will be prepared in accordance with the Government Programme. The plan will be implemented in cooperation with the Talent Boost programme.

What is Talent Boost?

Talent Boost is an intersectoral programme for international recruitment and work-based and education-based immigration coordinated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Education and Culture. The previous Talent Boost programme was adopted in summer 2020 and a roadmap for education-based and work-based immigration was completed in autumn 2021. The new Talent Boost programme will cover the years 2023–2027.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment does not make individual decisions related to entry into Finland or international recruitment. More information on work-based and study-based residence permits, as well as how to apply for them, can be found on the website of the Finnish Immigration Service, and more information on international recruitment on the Work in Finland website.*

Katri Niskanen, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 373
Veera Svahn, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, tel. +358 295 047 321 (questions to the Minister of Employment)
Jonna Korhonen, Director, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 295 330 008
Emmi Venäläinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Science and Culture, tel. +358 50 453 2773 (questions to the Minister of Science and Culture)

*Information on applying for residence permits added on 12 February 2024.