Providing employment to immigrants

Since autumn 2015, Finland has received thousands of asylum seekers. Providing them with work is a big challenge. S Group tackled this challenge by means of the Koto-SIB project and the hygiene passport training launched with the Funzi mobile learning service.

The purpose of the Koto-SIB project, commissioned by the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, is to find employment for at least 2,000 asylum seekers who have received their residence permits, and by doing so, to generate savings for society. S Group invested one million euros in the Koto-SIB fund established in October 2016. The FIM asset management company was in charge of raising funds for Koto-SIB.

"Integration and training of immigrants usually take several years, but in the Koto-SIB project, an individual receives targeted training and in the best case scenario, can start working in less than six months. Training targets sectors in which there currently is shortage of labour in Finland," FIM's CEO Teri Heilala says.

A successfully completed project will generate savings of EUR 28 million to the government and a reasonable compensation for investors.

The Finnish mobile learning service Funzi and S Group launched a mobile hygiene passport training in November 2016. The training enables immigrants to study for a hygiene passport test and to review their skills. Training is available in English and Finnish and freely accessible online.

"We want to support immigrants' employment and, therefore, provide them with the opportunity to complete the hygiene passport studies free of charge," Nina Meincke, ‎Director of S Group's HR Services and Development, says.

In Finland, a hygiene passport is required in restaurants and retail, for example, when an employee handles unpackaged and perishable food items in their job.