Spotting skills - starting careers

Project: Co-funded project

Collaborative partners

Description in the public portal

The immigrant population in Finnish Lapland is younger on average than the population at large, but the labour market has yet to take full advantage of this favourable age structure. Immigrant job-seekers in Lapland tend to have a rather limited educational background, and immigrants throughout the country face considerable challenges in finding employment with what are limited or unrecognized educational qualifications. Means for addressing these shortcomings include a good knowledge of Finnish, an educational qualification earned in or recognized by Finland, and work experience in the country’s private, public or third sectors.

Step2Job seeks to promote the employment prospects for immigrants in Lapland by providing recognition for their present skills, an aim also seen as furthering educational equality in the region. The project, a joint effort of the University of Lapland and the Lapland University of Applied Sciences, will construct an innovative model for recognizing and improving immigrants’ competencies. Relying on interaction between immigrants and working life, the model first charts the gaps in immigrants’ job skills and the challenges facing them in finding employment; it then proceeds to a process of recognition of prior learning (RPL) and opportunities to upgrade skills, one option for doing so being university-level courses. The project will use digital badges to bring front and centre the university-level competencies immigrants have, in particular those in demand on the job market. In addition, it will provide courses in Finnish from B-level on up as well as highlight the processes of and opportunities offered by RPL in the Lapland University Consortium, for both immigrants with university-level competencies and for consortium personnel who provide information, advice and guidance to students.

One outcome of the project will be improved identification and recognition of immigrant job-seekers’ skills: they will receive due credit for the competencies they have acquired in their country of origin in terms of Finnish university-level studies and degree components. The system of digital badges will provide prospective employers with a tangible indication of each job-seeker’s full range of competencies. This in turn will enhance immigrants’ job-seeking skills and overall familiarity with working life as well as broaden the networks through which they interface with the working world. In addition, the project will help immigrants improve their Finnish language skills and master the terminology needed in professional contexts. The B-level Finnish courses provided through the project to this end will be the first in Lapland. What is more, the project will introduce a new dimension in the RPL processes of the universities in Lapland, one tailored to immigrant clients who seek recognition of their present competencies.

One further, indirect benefit of the project will be to promote cultural and gender equality: it will support employment for immigrants and enhance the competencies of and job opportunities especially for female immigrants. The support measures target women in particular, as they run a great risk of staying at home and missing out entirely on opportunities to participate in working life.
Short titleStep2Job - Työuralle osaamista tunnistam
Effective start/end date01.06.201631.05.2019


  • Euroopan sosiaalirahasto ESR / European Social Fund ESF: €223,371.00

ID: 2252642