Master´s thesis: Underutilization of educated immigrants in Finland

​According to the Migration Integration Policy Index report (2015), Finland was reported to have a very high “brain waste” rate of immigrants. According to the report, in comparison to native Finns, there is at least 50% of brain waste for non-EU immigrant women. Skill-related underemployment, a source of brain waste, occurs when the education and skills of a person are underutilized in their current job.

The thesis highlights the processes that lead educated immigrants to become skill-related underemployed in Finland. It is also points out how skill-related underemployment affects the subjective-health of the underemployed. Finally, this report proposes steps that can be taken to alleviate skill-related underemployment of educated immigrants in Finland. The experiences of six educated, skill-related underemployed immigrants in Finland were recorded through face to face interviews. The results were thereafter analyzed using thematic analysis method.

The results of the research found out that, skill-related underemployment of educated immigrants is a multifaceted issue. The main factors that lead to skill-related underemployment of immigrants include: poor integration government policies, poor attitude climate towards immigrants, lack of standardized language skills demands in the labour market, pressure of settling down and labour discrimination.

The research also revealed that skill-related underemployment affects educated immigrants negatively. Mainly, it deprives them off their economic power, self-identity and results in to poor mental and physical health. Some of the recommendations for eradicating of skill-related underemployment of educated immigrants include change of policies. These policies include, changing the immigration policies to allow immigrant-undergraduates enough time to find professional jobs congruent to their credentials.

Other changes recommended in the educational sector providence of adequate Finnish language skills to international students. This report also recommends internship and mentorship programs for educated immigrants. Educated immigrants are also advised to be proactive in job search. Stringent laws banning discrimination in the labour market and a proper follow-up guideline also needs to be implemented by the government. In conclusion skill-related underemployed educated immigrants in Finland often possess human capital but lack social and cultural capitals. Efforts to alleviate skill-related underemployment of educated immigrants in Finland should be focused on building cultural and social capitals of educated immigrants.

For more Information contact:

Lynn Mutuku
Masters in Global Development and Management in Healthcare

Modified 4/27/2017 3:43 PM