With more than half a million inhabitants, Pirkanmaa region is Finland’s second metropolis with Tampere as its central city. In its strategy that extends to 2030, Tampere sees itself as the forerunner that creates future solutions for both local and global challenges by relying on high-level talent, digitalisation, community spirit and securing the operating conditions of companies. (The Tampere City Strategy)
Strategies and their aims
Investing in international talent is a cross-cutting theme of the Tampere strategy and the multiple programs implementing it. The city’s strategic goal is to be “an internationally attractive city of talent, easy to settle in due to clear and easily accessible services”.
In the mayor’s program for the years 2021-2025 (“People’s Tampere – city of opportunities”), retaining of immigrants is defined as one of the key policy priorities. The goal is to attract more international talent, students and jobs to the city, offering immigrants smooth living, studying, doing business, working, and spending free time, as well as securing services in both English and plain Finnish.
The goals are implemented as part of the national Talent Boost program, investing in regionally important industries and experimenting with new operating models.
The Tampere strategy presents goals and measures connected to both attraction and retention of immigrants, e.g., the following:
- The appeal of Tampere as an internationally known, innovative and student-friendly city is increased by closer cooperation with region’s educational institutions, research institutes and business life.
- Tampere is an attractive place to stay to work after studies. The employment opportunities of foreign language degree students in the region are improved.
- Immigrants’ working life connections will be strengthened and their skills, language and cultural potential are utilised in developing the vitality of the entire community.
- Versatile and high-quality language and cultural education is offered to immigrants of different ages and in different life situations.
- Centralised services are offered to immigrants in the early integration phase, while other service ecosystems needed are built in the region’s municipalities. The number of public services offered in foreign languages are gradually increased.
- The aim of adult social work services for immigrants is to get their living conditions in order in a timely manner to support their integration.
- The city’s integration policies rely on the principles of responsibility and equality. Promoting equality and well-being also creates security.
In addition, the city of Tampere’s statutory equality plan (2017–2021) emphasises the importance of good relations between different population groups for promoting equality. Participation opportunities for all groups are held important and they are developed actively. In measures promoting equality, especially the study and employment opportunities of immigrants are stressed.
Ecosystem of international talent services
The services provided by the city of Tampere to promote employment, education and integration of international talents and other immigrants are placed under the International Talent Attraction and Migration Services branch of the city administration.
The director of the Services is responsible for the management of the service complex and the main coordination of the city’s immigration policies. Moreover, the International Talent Attraction and Migration Services coordinates the centralised immigrant service ecosystem of the Local Government Pilot on Employment in Pirkanmaa, which started in 2021. It will be responsible for the city’s employment services when they will be transferred to municipalities and cities across the country from 2025.
The integration, study, employment and entrepreneurship of immigrants are promoted in cooperation with educational services, social and health services, private service providers and third sector operators. (For Internationals -website)
From the point of view of international talents, the key services consist of the International Tampere skills Center (OSKE), the Multilingual info Mainio and International House Tampere. The services operate at the interface between job seekers and employers and offer advice to both international talent and companies planning to recruit talent. The core partners and service operators of the House are the City of Tampere, the Tampere regional vocational college Tredu, Kela, Tampere Universities, and the Pirkanmaa TE services.
In order to promote multi-functional cooperation, Tampere also hosts an Immigrant Council, whose task is to develop services related to immigrants and integration, to promote dialogue between different cultures, and to participate in the prevention of discrimination and racism. The Council has no have decision-making power; instead, it makes propositions about the tasks assigned to it. The Council has eleven members all with an immigrant background, including the chairman.
In addition to the service network built by the city of Tampere and the surrounding municipalities, numerous other actors promote the studies, employment, and integration of international talents. These include especially Tampere’s three universities, the region’s many other educational institutions and the business community, with whom the city cooperates closely through, for example, various development projects.
In addition to public actors and companies, many third sector organisations, associations, networks and clubs also offer support for the integration of internationals.
(Text updated 14.9.2023.)