About this good practice
Jyväskylä is the commercial centre of Central Finland and hosts most of the immigrant population of the region. Inadequate Finnish language skills and immigrants‘ interface into the work life have been identified as key challenges for labour-market integration of migrants in the region. As an open discussion club, Juttuklubi connects immigrants and employers by providing a platform for both the sides to break the ice and expand their network. Job seekers get to practice/showcase their language skills in an informal environment also getting a glimpse of the work culture at the same time, while the employers get a peek into the available international talent pool.
Visits to employers, public offices, education institutions etc. are used as a medium of interaction. The host presents the club with an overview of its functions and highlights any open employment opportunities at the same time. Small group discussions related to requirements for working in a specific field, Finnish language skills etc follow. Juttuklubi not only presents the immigrants with an opportunity to get familiar with various employers and work fields, but also opens the door for a casual two-way interaction between the parties involved, thus breaking the barriers and stereotypes.
The main beneficiaries are immigrants who are looking for employment/entrepreneurship opportunities and the potential employers who are in need of skilled workers. City of Jyväskylä works as a conduit to facilitate this interaction
Juttuklubi Jyväskylä is funded by the City of Jyväskylä (~30 000 € annually). Club Coordinator coordinates with the parties involved and takes care of logistics (materials, topic of discussion etc.), marketing and communications. Meeting place and any possible catering is usually handled by the host
Evidence of success
So far Juttuklubi has had 25 hosts, and about 168 participants. Partcipants backgrounds range from Japan to Latvia and from Africa to Columbia. Some of the major hosts have been Keskimaa, Business Jyväskylä, University of Jyväskylä and Sokos Hotel Paviljonki. An article in the Finnish news channel published thoughts of the participats of the club. Highlights being gettting several job interviews and internship opportunities from Juttuklubi contacts and increased interest in hiring immigrants
Potential for learning or transfer
Based on the information exchange via MILEstone project activities, it is evident that the challenges faced in different regions across Europe regarding labour market integration of migrants are on the same lines. Keeping in mind phenomena like insufficient language skills and unfamiliarity with the work culture affecting employability of immigrants and reluctance to mingle on employers’ part due to the pre-conceived notions, more innovative and unconventional measures could be explored, so that the needs of the stakeholders involved could be catered to in a holistic manner. Juttuklubi Jyväskylä provides an example of exactly such a method - used to break the barriers and bring the immigrant job seekers/entrepreneurs closer to the work life, proving a platform for promoting good people’s relationships in the society at the same time. Juttuklubi Jyväskylä ticks a lot of boxes which are common to several regions and thus provides an adaptable solution on a wider level.