A study by the Chamber of Commerce reveals Finland "alarming" shortage of skilled labor

Three out of four companies experience a shortage or even a serious shortage of skilled labor, according to the results of a survey of member companies of the Finnish Chambers of Commerce network.

This is a significant addition to the results of last year’s similar survey, which found that about half of companies experienced a skills shortage.

In addition, nearly 70 percent of the 1,300 companies surveyed this year said their shortage of skilled labor has limited their growth.

The situation is getting worse "alarming", According to an expert from the Central Chamber of Commerce Mikko Valtonen, which called on the government to take action.

"There’s a real rush now," he said, adding that 64 percent of survey respondents said more staff will be needed over the next six months.

Skilled and qualified staff are needed, especially in the fields of trade, administration, technology and data processing, and telecommunications, the results of the study showed, while the need for health and service workers has already been documented.

Few applicants, lack of suitable qualifications

Many of the companies that responded to the Chamber of Commerce’s survey said that the main reason for labor shortages is simply that there are no applicants for vacancies or applicants do not have the required work experience or qualifications.

Just under half of companies reported that lack of relevant work experience was a recurring factor in failed applications, while a quarter said qualifications were an ongoing issue.

Worker mobility – the ease with which workers can move within or between economies – was a challenge for around 12% of the companies surveyed, while a lack of language skills reported a problem as 8%.

According to Valtonen, education can play a significant role in improving the labor shortage problem.

"If we look at the second half of the 2030s, the need for college degrees will clearly increase. I would rather invest in quality education," he further said and pointed out that there is a particular demand for applicants for a vocational or polytechnic degree, and more than 60 per cent of the companies surveyed said that this qualification was desirable.

Competition for foreign labor is intensifying

About 40 percent of the companies surveyed said they had foreign people, and about the same number of respondents said they plan to recruit foreign experts in the future.

Valtonen told Yle that he hoped that it would be easier for skilled foreign workers and students to come to Finland, because he emphasized the need to look at labor competition worldwide.

"Work-based migration and education need to be accelerated. The competition is so fierce that we have to look beyond the borders of the EU," Valtonen said.

According to Nordea’s chief analyst Jan von Gerich, The Finnish economy is recovering rapidly from the coronavirus crisis, but labor supply is causing problems and central banks will soon begin to withdraw the emergency measures introduced during the pandemic.

Source: The Nordic Page


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