I took part in a very interesting seminar in June on foreigners in Finland. Here are some conclusions from that seminar on what real challenges Finland faces with respect to its aging population and luring foreign workers to the country.
1) It will be VERY difficult for Finland to attract qualified labor from other countries. Remember, there are many countries in Europe that ALSO competing to get foreign workers.
2) The only foreigners that Finland could attract could be from the Ukraine and Belorus.
3) The difficulty of securing foreign workers in FInland IS a threat to its future economic growth.
4) Policy makers who draft Finland’s immigrant policy do not understand the importance of immigration and how it can contribute to Finland’s development.
Present debate on immigration issues in Finland is at the diaper stage. The prevailing attitude appears to tilt towards arguing why it is such a bad matter without grasping the real issues.
A lot of matters will have to change in Finland before greater number of foreigners come to work in the country. The indifference and racism of some Finns does not hurt these foreigners because they can always find work in other countries.
In the end, these attitudes only end up damaging Finland.