Asylum seeker Ibrahim has applied to hundreds of jobs in Finland without luck

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Racism squanders talent, growth, and opportunities.

Migrant Tales

Prejudice is an emotional commitment to ignorance.

Dr. Nathan Rutstein 

Most of our perceptions of visible migrants and minorities are erroneous and an outright lie. Remember when Perussuomalaiset* party secretary, Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, labeled all refugees in 2015, including those from countries like Syria, as economic migrants and welfare shoppers?

This populist and hateful statement by Slunga-Poutsalo was supported by Foreign Minister Timo Soini and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government. Remember the prime minister? He’s the one who offered his home to asylum seekers but then broke his promise like so many others during his mandate.

Since they are “welfare shoppers” and “economic migrants” we give into lies that in turn help justify our ignorance and prejudice. It is the fuel and justification for tightening immigration policy and socially excluding such people.

A good video message by the Finnish Refugee Advice Center.

Such lies about asylum seekers and migrants spread by politicians and the media have labeled us as a problem that should be treated with suspicion and makes it ever-difficult to get employed.

Ibrahim [1] is an Iraqi asylum seeker who came to Finland in 2015. He is a computer hardware specialist who regularly applies to 25-35 jobs weekly.

“During my stay in Finland, I have applied to hundreds of jobs,” he admitted. “I’m still unemployed.”

Ibrahim said that the vast majority of job applications he applies to are through Linkedin (70%) followed by different Facebook groups (20%) and the rest in places such as Jobs in Helsinki, fairs and the like (10%).

“Very few companies tell me outright that they cannot hire me because I am an asylum seeker,” he said. “I feel that the main reason why they don’t want to hire me due to fear.”

Ibrahim agrees that those that tell him that they cannot hire him because he is an asylum seeker are guilty of discrimination. Section 6 of the constitution states clearly that everyone irrespective of his or her background is equal before the law.

“What can I do?” he said about discrimination. “Other factors make it hard for me to find a job. Government restrictions and red tape.”

Despite the situation, Ibrahim won’t give up and will continue to search for a job in Finland despite all the obstacles he faces.

* The Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity. One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic.

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.

[1] The name of the asylum seeker was changed in order to protect his identity.

  1. Light

    His ( Ibrahim ) experiences are similar many more of us! he is right, he has talent, he is a human being, he needs a job, money, life, future, but Finland close the doors on him!

    They do not want you between themselves, even if you are a finnish citizenship ! they always gossip about and against you and you hear with your ears, you hear it always, every day, and you can not say anything… and then face to face they show you a fake smile ! you can not say anything because you need your work and money, if you say something, then they will complaint about you and suddenly boss will kick you out, again you must run after a work !

    You want adapt yourself***
    ***But they will not let you

    They will never accept you, this will never happened, even if you do your best, even if you are friendly and spcial, even if you answer their hate with love !

    They always think for fight, they think its a war, they hate foreigners!
    Most of them never answer you hi, they never look at you!
    They think you are a slave and they are master!

    Oh it is just very very normal in Finland, even in work places if and when you find a work , there are always prejudice, racism and racists that you must be very very strong between them, however you are a human being and they are always in group, you are alone and they are in union against you, they always try to kick you out, and they do it quickly, because being under pressure and insult is not easy , specially you can not defend yourself, and you can not open your mouth, if you say even a small word, they will call you bad names and … no one will believe you, no one trust you, even an angel can not work with finns, its really really difficult, soon you will give up and you can not continue, because you care about your health.

    Best thing is to working with foreigners , working with foreigners is the only thing that can save yourself from prejudice, insult and abuse… then you are at least safe and you can breath!