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Finland’s Alarming Skilled-Labour Shortage

Three out of four companies are experiencing a shortage or even a severe shortage of skilled labour, according to the results of a survey of member companies conducted by Finland’s Chambers of Commerce network. Of the 1,300 companies surveyed, 70% reported that these shortages have limited their growth and are struggling to fill positions due to applicants lacking qualifications or work experience.

While the need for workers in the healthcare sector is well documented, the survey found that skilled and qualified staff are especially needed in the fields of trade, administration, technology and data processing and telecommunications.

Just under half of the companies reported that a lack of relevant work experience was a recurring factor in failed applications, while a quarter said qualifications were a constant issue. Mikko Valtonen, Central Chamber of Commerce specialist, has called the situation as “alarming” and is calling for the government to act.

He hopes that it will be easier for skilled foreign workers and students to enter Finland, as he emphasised that competition for labour must be considered on a global scale and work-based immigration and education should be accelerated. Some 40% of the companies surveyed said they had people from abroad, and roughly the same number of respondents said they plan to recruit foreign specialists in the future.

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