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Jobseekers in Finland with foreign names complete nearly twice as many job application forms as those with native Finnish surnames, according to a report published by European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).
One suggestion that has been made is to ‘anonymise’ job application forms to level the playing field. Anonymous recruitment would involve concealing the applicant’s name, nationality, age, and gender in order that the recruitment process is effectively blind until the interview. The anonymity has already been trialled in Helsinki, when a pilot project to find a project manager for the city’s youth centre. A Finnish woman was recruited, and details of other candidates are not available due to the anonymity of the process.
Applicants with Roma, Somali, Muslim, and Russian backgrounds are particularly affected by discrimination; whether for employment, education, and housing. The ECRI report recommended that Finnish authorities take further measures to combat discrimination in the employment sector by ensuring that employers and employment agencies are made more aware of the discrimination problem. ECRI confirmed that it was pleased with the progress that Finland has made in combating discrimination; since its first report in 2007.
The current unemployment level in Finland is 8.4%, according to Eurostat. It sits below the European Union and Eurozone averages of 11% and 12.2%, respectively. Levels of unemployment have remained relatively stable since 2001, when unemployment was at 9.1%. At its lowest in 2008, unemployment levels were 6.4%.