New trial aims to employ thousands of immigrants
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy and Sitra’s objective is to train and employ at least 2,000 immigrants over the next three years. The performance-based project funded with private capital is due to begin in September. On 28 June 2016, Epiqus Oy was appointed project coordinator.
The project offers immigrants work-life oriented training that will support their future employment. The objective is for immigrants to enter the labour market on average four months after training has begun. The training will continue on-the-job and include language, culture and professional skills studies.
“The aim is that immigrants should be able to find employment more quickly. This project will therefore meet the needs of both immigrants and employers. Jobs can be found in sectors such as construction, property, services, care, ICT and restaurants and catering,” says Sonja Hämäläinen, Migration Director at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
The project will be implemented nationally in cooperation with separately selected TE Offices. The project will continue until the end of 2019.
Project to be funded with private capital
The project will be implemented with a performance-based funding agreement i.e. the Social Impact Bond (SIB), which Sitra has introduced in Finland as part of impact investments. Investors fund activities and carry the involved financial risks. The public sector needs only pay, if the employment objectives are met.
“The SIB will help the public sector purchase results without taking on financial risks. Investors have the opportunity to impact on the social issues they feel are important. The strength of the model is that it sets specific, formal targets for impact and economic results, the realisation of which are also regularly monitored,” explains Mika Pyykkö, Senior Lead for Impact Investing.
The quick employment of immigrants will save the State costs involved in the payment of labour market support and integration education for adult immigrants and bring in tax income. If the project’s objectives are met, the Ministry will pay part of the achieved savings into a fund from which the investors will be paid back their capital as well as a reasonable profit.
Epiqus Oy appointed project coordinator
Funding company Epiqus has been selected as the project coordinator and fund manager on the basis of competitive bidding. Epiqus’ task will be to build the necessary cooperation network and collect funds for the fund that will be established. Epiqus Oy is the first Nordic impact investment management company and Europe’s second fund manager specialised in social enterprise.
Epiqus is also tasked with selecting the education providers that will supply immigrant training as well as establishing contact with potential employers. Investors can either be private persons or institutions.
Sitra introduces impact investing model in Finland
The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra is introducing the impact investment model in Finland and acting as a consultant in the first SIB pilots. Finland’s and, at the same time, the Nordic countries’ first SIB was launched last autumn. Its objective will be to promote occupational wellness in the public sector. The funders for the first stage of the project will comprise the We Foundation, Sitra and private finance investor Henri Kulvik. Epiqus will act as fund manager and project coordinator in this project as well.
Ministerial Adviser Sonja Hämäläinen, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, tel. +358 (0)29 504 7112
Senior Lead, Impact Investing, Mika Pyykkö, Sitra, tel. +358 (0)29 461 8259
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Jussi Nykänen, Epiqus Oy, tel. +358 40 840 8001