Anyone other than me seeing a potential problem with this?
Then there’s the justifiable bitterness that erupts from indigenous Finns who are presently suffering from a +10% unemployment situation who can’t find work, and are forced to pay taxes that helps pay the salaries of those training others when it should be themselves in these programs.
Asylum seekers who’ve been selected for Helsinki’s pilot training programme will learn the use of coding languages such as HTML and CSS – often used for building websites or applications.
The city is partnering with a Finnish startup, Integrify, whose mission is to help refugees integrate by learning software development. The company’s launched its programme with a handful of participants, and now wants to partner with the city to expand to bring up to 100 asylum seekers on board.
“Recently 30,000 to 35,000 people have come to Finland and as we all know, integration is a major challenge. We believe that there is an opportunity to help people and to train them in a sector where there is a dire shortage of workers. That will help them find work quickly,” said Integrify founder and pilot organizer Daniel Rahman explained.
Tens of thousands to find a good coder
Affecto is one of the largest IT services companies in the Nordics. Business director Mikko Eerola said there is a constant demand for competent coders.
“We always have vacancies in Finland and elsewhere in the world. In our kind of IT services company we also increasingly need coders in different positions such as [deployed in] customer businesses and elsewhere,” Eerola noted.
Jasu Koponen, chief executive of the digital event search startup Venuu said that companies are willing to shell out big bucks to secure good coding talent.
“From what I know of the startup sector and other firms in this industry, sometimes they may invest up to tens of thousands of euros to recruit a skilled coder. Demand has gotten out of hand,” Koponen declared.
Workers deserve workers’ pay
Yle asked whether the pilot could lead to a situation where trained asylum seekers merely end up being low-wage workers in an otherwise well-paid field.
“By no means is the intention to create some pool of low-wage coders, workers should get workers’ pay. Especially in this kind of work it is very easy to rate skills and what level of pay would be suitable for those skills,” Rahman said.
One of the initial participants in the Integrify training programme, Iraqi Eyastaha, traveled through ten countries to get to Finland. He recently found out that he’d received a job offer, although he’s been in the country for less than six months and doesn’t know the language.
He said that he intends to wholeheartedly throw himself into his budding career but already has his sights set on something bigger.
“Of course I want to focus on work as well as I can, but maybe in five years I can begin my own startup.”