Migrants must be given more digital skills
At their recent meeting, the Nordic ministers for integration and employment focused on challenges and solutions in connection with helping migrants access an increasingly digitalised labour market. The ministers were presented with the reports “The Future of Work in the Nordic Countries” and “Digital Transformations of Traditional Work in the Nordic Countries”. Insights from the reports show that there will be fewer procedure-based jobs, while the Nordic labour market will become increasingly automated and digitalised. This is a problem for a number of migrants who currently lack these digital skills. This includes those currently outside the labour market, as well as those who have jobs that will disappear in the future.
This ministerial meeting is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the solutions that the Nordic countries have created to improve integration.
Efforts must be made to achieve Vision 2030
The Nordic prime ministers have adopted Vision 2030 – for the Nordic Region to be the most integrated and sustainable region in the world. Although the Nordic Region is well on the way to achieving this, there are still challenges. The Nordic Council of Ministers’ own baseline report shows that almost 17 percent of non-EU citizens in the Nordic Region in 2019 were unemployed, and the trend has stagnated. Consequently, it’s important that the Nordic countries can draw inspiration from each other and change this situation.
“With successful integration policies, we can get everyone involved in the transformation and leverage the technology that also improves services. This ministerial meeting is an excellent opportunity to gain insight into the solutions that the Nordic countries have created to improve integration,” said the host of the meeting, Finland’s Minister of Employment, Tuula Haatainen.
Inspire each other
There are nuanced differences in the challenges the individual Nordic countries face and in how they are solving them. It is precisely these different solutions that the Finnish presidency wanted to have set out on the table to serve as inspiration. At the meeting, it emerged that the coronavirus crisis has shown that women are especially challenged in terms of having the digital skills that the labour market demands. One takeaway here is that, statistically speaking, women do not have the same access to digital platforms and computers as men. In general, there was agreement on a future discussion on digitalisation in education and skills development aimed at both migrant women and men, both in and outside of the labour market.
Participants in the ministerial meeting • Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Employment, Finland • Anders Ygeman, Minister for Integration and Migration, Sweden • Hadia Tajik, Minister of Labour and Social Inclusion, Norway • Mattias Tesfaye, Minister for Immigration and Integration, Denmark • Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson, Minister of Social Affairs and the Labour Market, Iceland • Paula Lehtomäki, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers