Needs Analysis

The main findings from our Needs Analysis report

9/15/20232 min read

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Here are the main findings from our Needs Analysis report:

In Finland, there is a lack of trained International Integration Experience Experts. Several programs and projects in the country cater to international talents, typically highly educated professionals coming to Finland or international students studying there. These initiatives offer courses, seminars, meetings, and mentorship programs designed to facilitate successful integration into the workforce. Some examples include:

  • Business Lead Programme at Hanken SSE

  • Talent Boost at Åbo Akademi

  • Spouse Programme at the University of Vaasa

  • Vaasa International Talents Programme at VAMK and Novia.

It is evident that these programs have a strong academic focus and are primarily accessible to students or immigrants with advanced academic degrees or highly qualified professionals. While there are mentorship programs, the mentors are often Finnish nationals with extensive professional experiences and networks but may lack the crucial personal experience of integration.

These programs emphasize the importance of social networks and personal contacts as vital for successful integration and employment. However, they may not take into consideration that building a social circle can be exceedingly challenging for immigrants, often taking approximately three years.

The existing programs in Finland are well-developed and promoted but may lack sensitivity to the diverse needs of immigrants and practical support in their journey towards successful integration and employment.

In Lithuania, the organizations mentioned in the research provide valuable services to help migrants integrate into Lithuanian society. However, they have different areas of focus and target groups:

  • The Migration Information Centre (MIC) "I Choose Lithuania" primarily offers information and consultations to the Lithuanian diaspora, their family members, and foreigners returning or arriving in Lithuania. It does not provide formal training or educational programs.

  • International House Vilnius offers comprehensive support to migrants, including information, advice, and workshops, but it is specifically designed for those relocating to Lithuania's capital city.

  • The National Employment Service (UZT) focuses on providing job training and employment opportunities for migrants but does not offer general integration support or advice.

In Sweden, newcomers receive information from the Swedish Migration Agency and the Swedish Public Employment Service about how things work in Sweden. This includes guidance on learning Swedish, finding work, starting a business, and validating their previous education for better employment prospects. There are various organizations that help immigrants in Sweden, but these are often voluntary and may not consist of trained experts. This highlights the need for more communication and education for both new arrivals and those already residing in Sweden.

To truly embrace a new cultural environment, social interaction with established members of the society is essential. This process requires effort from both Swedes and new arrivals, involving communication, self-reflection on cultural differences, and mutual learning.

Through research, the Integration and Experience Experts (IEEs) program proposed in our project identifies the following integration needs:

  • A sense of belonging

  • Optimism and hope

  • Basics of life, such as housing, routines, a sustainable livelihood, and a safe living environment

  • Employment or educational opportunities

  • Social relationships, family, friends, and social support

  • Recreational opportunities

  • Community support and shared values

  • Opportunities to influence and be heard

  • Coping mechanisms and crisis management skills

  • Forward-oriented thinking

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Effective communication skills

  • Emotional intelligence.

The IEE program will complement the services provided by existing organizations in Finland, Lithuania, and Sweden by offering formal training and education to migrants already residing in these countries. This training would equip them with the skills and knowledge needed to support other migrants in their integration process.